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Electrical Microfluidic Pressure Gauge for Elastomer Microelectromechanical Systems

Research Area: Microfluidics/Biomedical Year: 2007
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: elastomers, electric resistance, microfluidics, microvalves, pressure gauges
Authors: Kartalov, Emil; Maltezos, George; Anderson, W. F.; Taylor, C. R.; Scherer, Axel
Journal: Journal of Applied Physics Volume: 102
Number: 8 Pages: 084909
Month: October
Abstract:
We report on an electrical microfluidic pressure gauge. A polydimethylsiloxane microvalve closes at a characteristic applied pressure determined by the material's properties and the valve's dimensions. Hence, when the same pressure is applied to all valves of a heterogeneous valve array, some valves close while others remain open. The state of the array is combined with knowledge of the respective characteristic closing pressures of the individual valves to yield an estimate of the applied pressure. The state of each valve is obtained by electrical measurements, since the electrical resistance of the respective underlying fluid-filled channel increases by at least two orders of magnitude as the valve closes and its insulating elastomer material interrupts the electrical circuit. The overall system functions as a pressure gauge with electrical readout. This device would be a critical component in active pressure-regulation loops in future integrated microfluidic systems.
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