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Buckling delamination induced microchannel: Flow regulation in microfluidic devices
K. M. van Delft, J. C. T. Eijkel, D. Mijatovic, T. S. Druzhinina, H. Rathgen, N. R. Tas, A. van den Berg, and F. Mugele, Nano Lett. 7(2), 345–350 (2007).
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The buckling delamination induced microchannel is employed to regulate fluid flow as a microvalve which can be utilized in microfluidic devices. This microvalve consists of a soft substrate and a stiff thin film, between which there is a pre-set small imperfection. Two critical strain values, namely, on-off strain and failure strain, have been proposed to determine the working strain interval using analytical predictions. Within this interval, the cross-sectional area of the microchannel can be controlled and predicted by different compressive strains of the film/substrate system. The fluid flow rate within this microchannel can be then estimated by both analytical and numerical simulations and adjusted to satisfy different values by alternating the compressive strain. In addition, a demonstrative experiment has been taken to verify the feasibility of this approach. This flexible microvalve has potential in the application where the use of traditional rigid microvalves is improper in flexible microfluidic devices. The method and approach of this paper can provide a general guide for flow rate control in microfluidic devices.
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