Open-source pneumatic pressure pump for drop-based microfluidic flow controls
Sanchez, Humberto S
Chang, Connie B
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An open-source pneumatic pressure pump is engineered for driving fluid flow in a microfluidic device. It is designed to be a cost-effective and customizable alternative to commercial systems. The pneumatic pressure pump utilizes a single open-source microcontroller to control four dual-valve pressure regulators. The control scheme is written in the Arduino development environment and the user interface is written in Python. The pump was used to pressurize water and a fluorinated oil that have similar viscosities. The pump can accurately control pressures to a resolution of less than 0.02 psig with rapid response times of less than one second, overshoot of desired pressures by less than 30%, and setting response times of less than two seconds. The pump was also validated in its ability to produce water-in-oil drops using a drop-making microfluidic device. The resultant drop size scaled as expected with the pressures applied to the emulsion phases. The pump is the first custom-made dual-valve regulator that is used to precisely control fluid flow in a microfluidic device. The presented design is an advancement towards making more fully open-source pneumatic pressure pumps for controlling flow in microfluidic devices.
Sanchez, H. S., & Chang, C. B. (2023). Open-source pneumatic pressure pump for drop-based microfluidic flow controls. Engineering Research Express, 5(3), 035014.