Contactless Magnetic Couplings For Microfluidic Devices

A novel magnetic coupling device for microfluidic pumps.

A novel magnetic coupling device for microfluidic pumps.

Abstract

The global microfluidics market size is expected to reach USD 44.0 billion by 2025 from an estimated value of USD 15.7 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 22.9% during the forecast period. Several factors, such as the rising demand for point-of-care testing, technological advancements, and increasing focus on data precision & accuracy are driving the market. Besides, the emergence of microfluidics-based 3D cell culture systems, such as organ-on-a-chip and expanding applications of drug delivery technologies, offers significant growth opportunities for players operating in the market. However, there are certain challenges in incorporating microfluidics technology, such as pumps, into existing workflows. Specifically, it is difficult to fabricate micropumps that are simple, compact, leak-free and inexpensive. Here we present a promising magnetic coupling device developed by a group of researchers led by Prof. Elliot Fried. The device is based on the novel arrangement of magnets.
The technology is a novel rotary magnetic coupling based on individual dipoles. The geometry of the magnetic coupling differs from conventional axial and end-face magnetic couplings. In a pump arrangement, one magnet is placed within a pipe with fluid, while the other two magnets are uniquely positioned outside the pipe. As the two outer magnets rotate, a corresponding rotation is provided to the magnet in the pipe to move fluid. This arrangement preserves the non-contact operation of conventional magnetic couplings and additionally provides a simple design with a smooth transmission which results in a constant fluid flow rate if incorporated into a microfluidic pump.

Applications

  • Microfluidic pump
  • Nautical propulsion

Advantages

  • Simple construction
  • Minimal space
  • Flexible geometries
  • Leak-free

Website

https://groups.oist.jp/tdic/technology0114