Microfluidic manipulation with artificial/bioinspired cilia
A recent development, inspired by nature, is the use of ‘artificial cilia’ to create pumping and/or mixing in microfluidic devices. Cilia are small hairs that can be found in biology and are used for (fluid) actuation and sensing. Microscopic actuators resembling cilia, actuated to move under the influence of various stimuli such as electrostatic field, magnetic field, and even light, have been developed by a number of groups and shown to be capable of generating flow and mixing in microfluidic environments. The research on artificial cilia started about a decade ago and is rapidly expanding. In addition to being relevant for potential application in lab-on-a-chip devices, the work on artificial cilia forms a beautiful example of how a biological system can form the successful basis for both scientific research and technological applications. In this review, we will give an overview of the most important approaches in this exciting field.
► Inspired by nature, artificial cilia have recently been developed to create pumping and/or mixing in microfluidic devices. ► Artificial cilia are microscopic actuators resembling cilia, actuated to move under the influence of different stimuli such as electrostatic field, magnetic field, and light. ► Artificial cilia can generate flow velocities of 0.5 mm/s and more. ► Artificial cilia could find applications in lab-on-a-chip devices for medical diagnosis, in which fluid flow needs to be precisely controlled.
Journal: - Volume 31, Issue 2, February 2013, Pages 85–91