Design and fabrication of magnetically functionalized flexible micropillar arrays for rapid and controllable microfluidic mixing

Bingpu Zhou, Wei Xu, Ahad Syed, Yeungyeung Chau, Longqing Chen, Basil Chew Joo Siang, Omar Yassine, Xiaoxiao Wu, Yibo Gao, Jingxian Zhang, Xiao Xiao, Jürgen Kosel, Xixiang Zhang, Zhaohui Yao, Weijia Wen

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65 Scopus citations


Magnetically functionalized PDMS-based micropillar arrays have been successfully designed, fabricated and implanted for controllable microfluidic mixing. The arrangement of PDMS micropillar arrays inside the microchannel can be flexibly controlled by an external magnetic field. As a consequence, the flow fields inside the microchannel can be regulated at will via magnetic activation conveniently. When a microchannel is implanted with such micropillar arrays, two microstreams can be mixed easily and controllably upon the simple application of an on/off magnetic signal. Mixing efficiencies based on micropillar arrays with different densities were investigated and compared. It was found that micropillar arrays with higher density (i.e. smaller pillar pitch) would render better mixing performance. Our microfluidic system is capable of generating highly reproducible results within many cycles of mixing/non-mixing conversion. We believe that the simple mixing-triggering method together with rapid and controllable mixing control will be extraordinarily valuable for various biological or chemical applications in the future. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2125-2132
Number of pages8
JournalLab Chip
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015

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