Applications of Syringe Pumps in Nanofluidics

In this small review, you will find some interesting applications for nanofluidics using syringe pump systems. We will discuss the special conditions where the nanofluidic operation can happen considering the features and the requirements of the selected applications. In many cases, experimentalists preferred the pressure control devices or flow control devices for nanofluidic operation. Nevertheless, some applications need more practical pumping solutions which are straightforward and low cost. In the following sections, the information for nanofluidic device operation at low cost will be presented and explained as an alternative to expensive pressure control systems.

Is it possible to develop nanofluidics using Chemyx syringe pumps?

The short answer is yes, there are ways in which syringe pumps and nanofluidic devices work together. For example, free labelling by nanochannel and electrokinetic phenomena is a case of study. The electrokinetic trapping approach allows the monitoring of biomolecules. Two microchannels connect an ion-selective nanochannel and with current vs voltage curves; the identification is achieved avoiding chemical labelling. The current monitoring system identifies target biomolecules with proficiency and accuracy1.

How does Chemyx help with nanofluidics?

In the case of the label-free technique, the fluid was injected into the microchannels using a Fusion 200 syringe pump; a method is an electrokinetic tool which applies a pre-concentration device. The approach allows a label-free monitoring system in real time. The nanofluidic preconcentration device uses two microchannels connected by ion-selective nanochannels. The system can model with the diffusion coefficient and diffusion layers. The current monitoring system allows the control of the preconcentration process. Furthermore, the technique evinces the behaviour of the trapped molecular plug without the requirement of fluorescence labelling.

Increasing heat transfer for nano-applications, syringe pump implementation with MWCNT nanofluidic

Nanoparticles as the multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) increase the convective heat transfer in small-scale devices. However, the rise of viscoelastic frictional drag is a disadvantage for nanofluidic development; it is important to reduce this drawback by implementing new solutions like superhydrophobic surfaces. The new surfaces decrease the frictional drag and the pumping pressure.

In this scenario, a syringe pump Fusion 200 moves the nanofluid to the microchannel at constant flow rates without pressure changes. The Fusion 200 pumps water and MWCNT/water through a series of superhydrophobic microchannels showing that a nanofluidic regime is possible through these devices2.

The implementation of the new system provides a pressure drop decreased and it enhances the heat transfer for low flow rates. On the other hand, MWCNT precipitation produces a heat transfer diminishing due to the high flow rates. An alternative is the implementation of surfactants inside of the nanofluidic which will help against nanoparticles agglomeration providing better performance. More work on the development of special microchannels is needed.

Concluding remarks

Chemyx syringe pumps are reliable tools for microfluidic work and in the proper conditions, they may be useful in nanofluidics field too. Recent research works have proved the capacity of pumps as Fusion 200 to move nanofluidics through nanochannels and to help in the development of new and exciting techniques, especially for the nanotechnology perspective. Other syringe pumps and Fusion 4000 and Fusion 6000 provide an improve operation at PL level. Considering the above-mentioned studies and the Chemyx syringe pumps capabilities it is fair to say that is possible to work with nanofluidics at low cost for well-selected applications, especially when nanochannels join microfluidic operation or low flow rates are used.

Additional information regarding microfluidic dosage systems and nanofluidics is available on the Chemyx website. Also, other interesting applications are discussed from nanomaterials synthesis to advanced chemical polymerization. Please check the Chemyx website to find the right application for your field of study.

References

  1. Chung, C.-Y., Warkiani, M.E., Mesgari, S., Rosengarten, G., Taylor, R., 2015. Thermoset polyester-based superhydrophobic microchannels for nanofluid heat transfer applications. Proc. Spiedigital Libr. 9668, 96680D. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2202524
  2. Chung, P.S., Fan, Y.J., Sheen, H.J., Tian, W.C., 2015. Real-time dual-loop electric current measurement for label-free nanofluidic preconcentration chip. Lab Chip 15, 319–330. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4lc01143k

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