Microfluidic Pumps & Valves

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As the Life Science industry pushes toward a greater degree of integration to reduce consumable cost and time to results, there is an increasing number of commercial applications for microfluidic cartridges with integrated systems of micro-valves and micro-pumps for sample delivery, prep, analysis and disposal. Most micro-valve/micro-pump systems are layered structures that include pneumatic manifold layers to affect micro-valve/micro-pump control and fluidic layers for reagent and sample control. These two classes of layers are separated by a flexible membrane that reacts to externally supplied and controlled pneumatic pressures (and vacuums) to create digital valve states, and the resulting fluidic control. For example, when a normally closed valve configuration is subject to an external pressure or vacuum source, the membrane will deflect to open to valve. This type of valve construction is intrinsically simple, robust and cost effective.

The integration of highly capable and adaptable fluidic control systems takes advantage of the unique relationship between micro-valves and micro-pumps, in that micro-pumps consist of using three or more syncronously controlled micro-valves. The external pneumatic forces can be synchronized to control flow direction, flow diversion and flow rate using the same set of valves. Flow rates ranging from nL to µL per second are made possible by varying the respective micro-valve volume, geometry and actuation rates.

Although dependent on the specific micro-valve and micro-pump design, below are some typical performance characteristics:

  • Dead volumes as low as 10 nL
  • Flow rates ranging from 1 to more than 600 μL/minute
  • Displaced volume approximately 20 nL
  • Hold pressure greater than 10 psi
  • Actuation speeds as fast as 50 ms

IDEX Health & Science, LLC's SlipStream™ microfluidic technology is ideally suited for bringing your integrated micro-valve and micro-pump designs to life. Our ability to permanently bond PDMS Biogasket™ to glass, plastics, PDMS, ceramics, crystalline and some metals allows us to create pneumatic manifold and fluidic layers using a variety of microstructruring processes. This capability extends to the membrane layer, allowing micron thin layered constructions with low permeability, light transmission or other unique properties.

We draw upon a considerable range of technologies and capabilities to manufacturing a full range of microfluidic solutions. Our years of experience results in innovative design guidance and cost effective manufacturing processes. Whether your application involves components for OEM instruments or consumables, we have the technology, know-how, and experience to design, prototype, and mass-produce microfluidic devices for your applications.

Cleanliness plays a key role in microfluidics manufacturing. Whether we are leveraging our state of the art cleaning facilities or our cleanrooms, we are capable of offering products with the surface qualities you require.

We draw upon a considerable range of technologies and capabilities to manufacturing a full range of microfluidic solutions. We offer innovative design guidance and cost effective manufacturing processes. Whether your application involves components for OEM instruments or consumables, IDEX Health & Science, LLC has the technology, know-how, and experience to design, prototype, and mass-produce microfluidic devices for your applications.

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