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Nanotube muscle for lab-on-chip

A lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a device that integrates one or several laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimeters to a few square centimeters in size handling extremely small fluid volumes down to less than pico liters. Lab-on-a-chip devices are a subset of MEMS devices and often called as Micro Total Analysis Systems. For lab-on-chip diagnostics nixing fluids on the micro- and nano-scales is crucial. A lab on a chip uses capillary action to create a potential one-step diagnostic tool, which could ultimately test for a wide range of diseases and viruses.
Simple mixer
Researchers of University of British Columbia in Canada and Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea have made nanotube torsional muscle-like structures useful in applications like micro fluidic pumps, valve drives and mixers. A plastic paddle attached to the rotating yarns was made by researchers as a simple mixer in its own right. The torsional muscle propels a micro-robot like a flagellum in the same way it propels a bacterium.
Bubble-activated micro pump
Chemists in Taiwan have developed a bubble-activated micro pump that can transport blood on a microchip which will help improve point-of-care disease diagnosis. Although many micro pumps have been developed, most require high temperatures or voltages, which can damage blood cells. Electrochemically activated pumps are known but they alter the pH of blood, harming the cells. Micro pumps provide the pressure that drives fluids through channels in lab-on-a-chip Microsystems. The new design overcomes these limitations by confining the pump's electrolysis reaction to an electrolyte-filled side channel on the chip.

Air-bubble-actuated micropump for on-chip blood transportation

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