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This paper presents a simple and novel device to stabilize a fluctuating fluid flow in microfluidic systems. The device consists of a microchannel and several compliant membranes in series on one or more walls of the channel. Vibrations of the compliant membranes are used to remove fluctuations in an incoming flow, resulting in nearly constant outlet flow rates and inlet pressures. A lumped-parameter model was developed to simulate the device operation. Testing of prototype devices demonstrates that the device is able to stabilize a pulsating flow by a flow rate stabilization ratio up to 20.
Date of Conference: 30 Jan.-3 Feb. 2005