Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cost-effective, high-performance micropumps for lab-on-a-chip disease diagnosis

Date:
September 4, 2014
Source:
Penn State Materials Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated an acoustofluidic pump powered by a piezoelectric transducer about the size of a quarter. This reliable, inexpensive, programmable pump is a crucial feature for lab-on-a-chip devices that could make the diagnosis of many global life-threatening diseases easy and affordable.

An acoustically powered pumping device with 250 micron long oscillating structures driven by a piezoelectric transducer mounted on a glass slide.
Credit: Po-Hsun Huang and Tony Jun Huang, Penn State

Researchers at Penn State have demonstrated an acoustofluidic pump powered by a piezoelectric transducer about the size of a quarter. This reliable, inexpensive, programmable pump is a crucial feature for lab-on-a-chip devices that could make the diagnosis of many global life-threatening diseases easy and affordable.

Related Articles


“The field of microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technologies has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry with cost-effective, high-performance miniature biomedical diagnostic devices. Despite its tremendous potential, the field has only delivered very limited numbers of products and tools for real-world applications. One of the reasons is that it is difficult to fabricate micropumps that are simple and inexpensive, yet reliable and effective,” said Tony Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics in Penn State’s College of Engineering.

Huang and his team demonstrated that with a smart microfluidic design, low-power acoustic waves could deliver fluids precisely and reliably. The permanent equipment for the total lab-on-a-chip system, including off-the-shelf electronics, could cost as little as $20-$30 to make, and the disposable chip could cost as little as 10 cents, Huang said. Although slightly more expensive than paper-based diagnostics -- such as home pregnancy tests -- the system is far more versatile and precise, enabling quantitative analysis of, for example, HIV, hepatitis, cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and nutritional deficiency.

In the U.S., where many diagnostic tests can cost as much as $800 due to the high cost of equipment and the necessity for trained technicians, a cheap, easy-to-use, and yet high-performance device with a disposable chip that only costs a few cents could dramatically lower the cost of healthcare. In the future, a battery powered system could bring affordable disease diagnosis to regions without available electricity.

“As engineers, we feel it is our responsibility to come up with innovative solutions and help provide better yet cheaper healthcare solutions. I foresee a time when these tests could be done in a doctor’s office, at home, or in the field,” Huang said.

The pump works by oscillating a series of thin sharp-edge structures hundreds of micrometers in length that have been constructed onto the sidewall of a microfluidic channel made of PDMS, a widely used polymer. A miniaturized piezoelectric transducer, similar to the kind used in medical ultrasound, is the source of the oscillations. In the present work, reported online in the journal Lab on a Chip on September 4, 2014, a silicon mold of the device and the sharp-edged structures on its sidewall were first created using a deep silicon etch tool in the Penn State Nanofabrication Laboratory, followed by PDMS casting of the device. In the future, Huang said, the devices and chips could be created using standard automated machine tools controlled by computers (CNC) for scalable manufacturing.

“Our pump is quite unique,” said Huang. “It’s reliable and programmable, with a minimum of hardware, yet highly precise. The flow rates can be tuned across a wide range, from nanoliters per minute to microliters per minute. I don’t see anything out there with our characteristics.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State Materials Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Po-Hsun Huang, Nitesh Nama, Zhangming Mao, Peng Li, Joseph Rufo, Yuchao Chen, Yuliang Xie, Cheng-Hsin Wei, Lin Wang and Tony Jun Huang. A reliable and programmable acoustofluidic pump powered by oscillating sharp-edge structures. Lab on a Chip, September, 2014 DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00806E

Cite This Page:

Penn State Materials Research Institute. "Cost-effective, high-performance micropumps for lab-on-a-chip disease diagnosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904131150.htm>.
Penn State Materials Research Institute. (2014, September 4). Cost-effective, high-performance micropumps for lab-on-a-chip disease diagnosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904131150.htm
Penn State Materials Research Institute. "Cost-effective, high-performance micropumps for lab-on-a-chip disease diagnosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904131150.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins