Labyrinx - Team Guinness
We, students of the School of Life Sciences, who are currently attending a course in medicinal micro system technics received the task to develop a game using micro fluidic technology.
After collecting a few different ideas for such a game we soon narrowed down to a micro fluidic labyrinth. Goal is to maneuver either a sphere or a hydrophobic drop through the closed fluid filed rectangular labyrinth. The sphere or the hydrophobic drop shall be moved by medical syringes witch are injected at each side of the labyrinth. By using the according syringe fluid is injected creating a flow witch shall move the drop/sphere in the desired direction.
The whole device shall be realized as small as possible. For that reason we use a 3D-printer that is able to print 0.7mm frames at the smallest. In order to print, we first create the labyrinth with the CAD-tool solid works.
In a first version of the device a ball of a pen is placed in the labyrinth. The device is closed with the bottom of a petri dish witch is glued on the labyrinth. Unfortunately the ball doesn’t move by the use of the syringes. A possible explanation is that the device is not leak-proof and therefore can’t create an equably fluid flow. On the other hand the ball seams to be too heavy.
Before building a second version using a hydrophobic drop (Perfluorodecalin 95%), the maneuver ability of such a drop is tested with syringes injected in a fluid filed chamber made of PDMS. The test shows that it isn’t possible to move the drop at all. It either sticks in the corner of the chamber or the injected fluid goes around the drop without moving it.
Based on the last experiences, the second version of the labyrinth is built with a lighter “play ball” with a non spherical geometry. Therefore a thin piece of a flexible tube is placed in the labyrinth. The device is closed with the bottom of a petri dish and this time sealed with PDMS. Additionally the complete device is placed in a petri dish witch is filed up with more PDMS. Although this time the labyrinth is leak-proof it still isn’t possible to move the “play ball”. It seams that the injected fluid moves around the device creating a laminar flow, even though the “play ball” isn’t spherical.
The basic idea of fluid transportation is actually realisable. Different solutions for the transportation of fluid are already in use. For example the Field-Flow-Fractionation or the Electrowetting, witch are briefly explained in the last pages.
If you want to know more about our project, visit our Wiki page: