A New Microtube Pump for Speedy Water Transfer

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Chinese researchers reported that the new microtube pump is able to transfer the water droplets over a long distance. This was published in a journal Angewandte Chemie, which states that pumps consist tube. This tube has the feature of changing its properties through irradiation. The wettability gradient in the inner wall and capillary forces work together for accelerating the water droplets with high speed.

Modern molecular diagnostic and other analytical methods work together to accelerate the speed of the fluid. The synthetic processes include the microfluidic technology where the reactions occur in the micro-channel even in the small-sized instruments. For transferring a small amount of fluid, the researchers from the Beihang University in Beijing and Tsinghua University, China have developed microtube pump.

This pump comprises the polymer tube with a diameter of 500 µm. This is made up of layers such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) in the outer layer and an inner layer of poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAm). The hydrophobic nature of the polymer makes the inner layer able to shrink and swell.

The interaction between these two mechanisms results in high speeds and can be controlled by changing the strength of the radiation. The material offers the advantage of quick cooling and then hydrogel returns to its original physical state. This flexibility of material offers for the production of the meters-long tube that transfers water continuously for any distance and locations. For instance, it allows the droplets with different reagents to be transported in combination, which could be used in diagnostic tests. This system serves as a microreactor, which are used in chemical reactions.

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