Buckling Instability of Dielectric Elastomeric Plates for Soft, Bio-Compatible Microfluidic Pumps

Citation:

Tavakol, B. ; Bozlar, M. ; Froehlicher, G. ; Punckt, C. ; Stone, H. A. ; Aksay, I. A. ; Holmes, D. P. Buckling Instability of Dielectric Elastomeric Plates for Soft, Bio-Compatible Microfluidic Pumps. In American Physical Society; Baltimore, MD, 2013.

Date Published:

March

Abstract:

Dielectric elastomers are well-known for their superior
stretchability and permittivity. A fully-clamped thin elastomer will buckle when it
is compressed by applying sufficient electric potentials to its sides. When embedded
within soft, silicone rubbers, these advanced materials can provide a means for a biocompatible
pumping mechanism that can be used to inject bio-fluids with desired
flow rates into microfluidic devices, tissues, and organs of interest. We have incorporated
a dielectric film that is sandwiched between two thin, flexible, solid electrodes
into a microfluidic device and utilized a voltage-induced out-of-plane buckling instability
for pumping of fluids. We experimentally quantify the voltage-induced plate
buckling and measure the fluid flow rate when the structure is embedded in a microchannel.
Additionally, we offer an analytical prediction that uses plate buckling
theory to estimate the flow rate as a function of applied voltage.

Last updated on 08/21/2017