Thin, flexible PDMS microfluidic pump actuated by compressive and bending force
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Microfluidic pumps have many possible applications in the field of medine. This thesis will discuss the design and fabrication of thin PDMS microfluidic pumps that are actuated by mechanical forces resulting from compression and bending motion. The thin PDMS pumps were fabricated using replica molding and laser machining using standard PDMS mixtures to create flexible pumps. Pumps of different sizes and aspect ratios were fabricated to study the effects of geometry on the flow rate performance and the actuation force. Flow experiments were conducted to test the performance of the thin PDMS pumps. Flow rates range from 18.2 - 35.2 µL per compression and 1.8 - 11.9 µL per bend. Results indicate possible approaches to designing an efficient, simple-to-use, and electricity-free microfluidic pump.