Characterization and theoretical analysis of rapidly prototyped capillary action autonomous microfluidic systems

Mazher Iqbal Mohammed, Marc Phillipe Yves Desmulliez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Capillary action arising from surface tension-based forces has been demonstrated to be an effective means of passively actuating various fluids through simple and sophisticated microfluidic channel networks. Systems based on this technique are advantageous compared with standard pumping strategies, as they have zero power requirements, are readily integrated into the overall fluidic chip design, and can be fabricated rapidly in a single manufacturing step. This paper comprehensively investigates time lapsed average velocity profiles of various capillary action microfluidic systems, including channels and pumping structures, and compares experimental data against prominent, competing, and flow-based theoretical models. We demonstrate that the average meniscus flow velocity of CO2 laser ablated capillary systems can be adequately predicted and characterize smooth fluidic velocity profiles in simple microchannels and complex interlinking channel pump/filling structures. Such systems offer a useful, rapid, and low cost alternative to traditional fluidic actuation and flow control systems such as those found in on-chip based biological and chemical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6786978
Pages (from-to)1408-1416
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • autonomous fluidic system
  • capillary action
  • laser direct write
  • Microfluidics
  • micropump
  • rapid prototyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization and theoretical analysis of rapidly prototyped capillary action autonomous microfluidic systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this