Biomimetic Micropump

Could a new acoustic micropump inspired by the legs of swimmers open doors for microfluidics?

The potential of microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technology is clear, but real-world applications have been slow to emerge. A lack of effective and inexpensive micropump options has been one challenge slowing the pace of development. Now, researchers from Penn State University believe they have the answer: an acoustofluidic pump, powered by a piezoelectric transducer (1). The pump uses acoustic waves to deliver fluids and, because of its low power consumption, it could be easily integrated into cell phone-based pointof- care diagnostic systems.