Scientists have developed a laser-driven photoacoustic microfluidic pump that moves liquid in any direction without moving parts or electrical contacts.
The size of the application of pumps is limited by the methods of processing them structural elements. However, a team of researchers from the University of Houston have come up with a potential solution to the problem. To do this, they made a small quartz substrate, and implanted gold atoms (1016 per cm2) on its surface, and then sent a laser pulse to it. Under the action of a pulse, gold nanoparticles begin to generate ultrasonic waves, which set the fluid in motion through an acoustic flow..
At the same time, nanoparticles provide an unlimited number of laser targets, which allows you to move the liquid in any direction with high accuracy and without any moving elements. The operation of the micropump is not based on the opto-fluid principle discovered in 2017, which links photoacoustics with acoustic flow..
However, according to the researchers, the mechanisms of how and why it works are still not fully understood by them. Therefore, they will continue to study the phenomenon..
The invention can be in biomedical devices and for the development of new methods of drug delivery, as well as in microfluidic and opto-fluid research.
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text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Skoltech
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