PNAS: Work of Steve Dong contributes to light-activated micro-fluidic pump
Even the smallest mechanical pumps have limitations, from the complex microfabrication techniques required to make them to the fact that there are limits on how small they can be. Researchers have announced a potential solution—a laser-driven photoacoustic microfluidic pump, capable of moving fluids in any direction without moving parts or electrical contacts.
The device was fabricated at the University of Houston in physicist Wei-Kan Chu's lab based in part on computational work of Professor Steve Dong of Purdue University. There is still much to be done on this project. "The mechanisms of how and why this works are not yet very clear," Chu said. "We need to understand the science better in order to develop the potential of its unforeseeable applications." The work appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.