Moving-part-free microfluidic systems for lab-on-a-chip

J. K. Luo, Yong Qing Fu, Yifan Li, X.Y. Du, Andrew Flewitt, Anthony Walton, William Milne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Microfluidic systems are part of an emerging technology which deals with minute amounts of liquids (biological samples and reagents) on a small scale. They are fast, compact and can be made into a highly integrated system to deliver sample purification, separation, reaction, immobilization, labelling, as well as detection, thus are promising for applications such as lab-on-a-chip and handheld healthcare devices. Miniaturized micropumps typically consist of a moving-part component, such as a membrane structure, to deliver liquids, and are often unreliable, complicated in structure and difficult to be integrated with other control electronics circuits. The trend of new-generation micropumps is moving-part-free micropumps operated by advanced techniques, such as electrokinetic force, surface tension/energy, acoustic waves. This paper reviews the development and advances of relevant technologies, and introduces electrowetting-on-dielectrics and acoustic wave-based microfluidics. The programmable electrowetting micropump has been realized to dispense and manipulate droplets in 2D with up to 1000 addressable electrodes and electronics built underneath. The acoustic wave-based microfluidics can be used not only for pumping, mixing and droplet generation but also for biosensors, suitable for single-mechanism-based lab-on-a-chip applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)054001
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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