Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 67–74 | Cite as

Rotary polymer micromachines: in situ fabrication of microgear components in microchannels

  • Byeong-Ui Moon
  • Scott S. H. Tsai
  • Dae Kun HwangEmail author
Research Paper


This paper presents in situ fabrication of polymeric machine elements operated by hydrodynamic forcing. With a single-step production, rotary polymer microgears are installed in microfluidic channels via UV-induced polymerization. First, a single microgear is formed, and its rotational performance is characterized as a function of the flow rate of a polymer solution. Then, the rotation of multiple microgears in a single microchannel is demonstrated, where all of the gears are driven by a single fluid flow stream. Finally, paired microgears are fabricated, and the gears show the ability to transmit torque. This ability may be integrated to build polymer microelectromechanical systems that are useful for biomedical applications.


In situ polymerizaiton Stop-flow lithography MEMS Microgear 



D.K. Hwang (Grant No. 386092-2010) and S.S.H. Tsai (Grant No. 435514-2013) both acknowledge funding support from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery grants program.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 2 (MPG 96 kb)

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Supplementary material 5 (MPG 264 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byeong-Ui Moon
    • 1
  • Scott S. H. Tsai
    • 1
  • Dae Kun Hwang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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