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Published March 15, 2007 | public
Journal Article Open

Experimentally validated quantitative linear model for the device physics of elastomeric microfluidic valves


A systematic experimental study and theoretical modeling of the device physics of polydimethylsiloxane "pushdown" microfluidic valves are presented. The phase space is charted by 1587 dimension combinations and encompasses 45–295 µm lateral dimensions, 16–39 µm membrane thickness, and 1–28 psi closing pressure. Three linear models are developed and tested against the empirical data, and then combined into a fourth-power-polynomial superposition. The experimentally validated final model offers a useful quantitative prediction for a valve's properties as a function of its dimensions. Typical valves (80–150 µm width) are shown to behave like thin springs.

Additional Information

©2007 American Institute of Physics. (Received 22 June 2006; accepted 29 December 2006; published online 19 March 2007) The authors thank Alejandro Meruelo and Daniel O'Hanlon from Caltech for their help with preliminary steps, and Alejandra Torres, Christina Morales, and Ali Ghaffari of the Caltech Micro/Nano-Fluidic Foundry for their help with device fabrication. Financial support for this work was provided by the NIH 1RO1 HG002644-01A1 and NIH 1 K99EB007151-01.


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