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Light-driven peristaltic pumping by an actuating splay-bend strip

Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pDespite spectacular progress in microfluidics, small-scale liquid manipulation, with few exceptions, is still driven by external pumps and controlled by large-scale valves, increasing cost and size and limiting complexity. By contrast, optofluidics uses light to power, control and monitor liquid manipulation, potentially allowing for small, self-contained microfluidic devices. Here we demonstrate a soft light-propelled actuator made of liquid crystal gel that pumps microlitre volumes of water. The strip of actuating material serves as both a pump and a channel leading to an extremely simple microfluidic architecture that is both powered and controlled by light. The performance of the pump is well explained by a simple theoretical model in which the light-induced bending of the actuator competes with the liquid’s surface tension. The theory highlights that effective pumping requires a threshold light intensity and strip width. The proposed system explores the benefits of shifting the complexity of microfluidic systems from the fabricated device to spatio-temporal control over stimulating light patterns.</jats:p>

Description

Acknowledgements: K.D. was supported by grant 2019/03/X/ST7/02065 ("Ciekłokrystaliczne usieciowane polimery jako elementy wykonawcze w układach mikrofluidycznych") from National Science Centre, Poland (NCN), thanks to which she implemented internship in Smart Photonic Materials Group in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Tampere University, Finland. K.D. and P.W. acknowledge generous funding from the National Science Centre (Poland) within the project 2018/29/B/ST7/00192 “Micro-scale actuators based on photo-responsive polymers". For the development of this project, M.Z. and Z.D. have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956150. J.B. and K.D. are supported by a UKRI ‘future leaders fellowship’ grant (grant no. MR/S017186/1). A.P. acknowledges the support from the Academy of Finland, in the framework of PREIN Flagship Programme (Decision No. 320165) and the Center of excellence LIBER (Decision No. 346107). Hao Zeng from Tampere University is acknowledged for fruitful discussions on the topic and for supervising K.D. during her internship at Tampere University.


Funder: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956150


Funder: Academy of Finland, in the framework of PREIN Flagship Programme (Decision No. 320165) and the Center of excellence LIBER (Decision No. 346107).


Funder: UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) "Future Leaders Fellowship", grant no. MR/S017186/1

Keywords

Article, /639/301/923, /639/166/988, /639/301/1005/1006, article

Journal Title

Nature Communications

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2041-1723

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Sponsorship
Narodowe Centrum Nauki (National Science Centre) (2019/03/X/ST7/02065, 2018/29/B/ST7/00192, 2018/29/B/ST7/00192)
EC | Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation H2020) (956150, 956150)
Academy of Finland (Suomen Akatemia) (320165, 346107)