9 April 2013 Dielectric elastomer actuators for active microfluidic control
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Dielectric elastomers with low modulus and large actuation strain have been investigated for applications in which they serve as “active” microfluidic channel walls. Anisotropically prestrained acrylic elastomer membranes are bonded to cover open trenches formed on a silicone elastomer substrate. Actuation of the elastomer membranes increases the cross-sectional area of the resulting channels, in turn controlling hydraulic flow rate and pressure. Bias voltage increases the active area of the membranes, allowing intrachannel pressure to alter channel geometry. The channels have also demonstrated the ability to actively clear a blockage. Applications may include adaptive microfilters, micro-peristaltic pumps, and reduced-complexity lab-on-a-chip devices.
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David McCoul, David McCoul, Coleman Murray, Coleman Murray, Dino Di Carlo, Dino Di Carlo, Qibing Pei, Qibing Pei, } "Dielectric elastomer actuators for active microfluidic control", Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 86872G (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009576; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2009576

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