The inexpensive paper pump – developed by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – uses capillary actions to power portable microfluidic devices, which control fluids of 1 ml or less volume.
“One longstanding challenge to the development of portable, real-world microfluidic device technologies has been the need to find a cost-effective way to pump fluids through the device when outside of the lab,” said Glenn Walker, co-corresponding author of the study and associate professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and UNC, in a press release. “Portability is important because it makes new applications possible, such as diagnostic tools that can be used in the field. Electric pumps, and tubing to connect them, are fine for a laboratory environment, but those aren’t easy to take with you.”
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