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