Design, modeling and simulation of a novel variable reluctance type linear ferrofluid pump
The development and realization of micropipettes and micropumps has captured the interest of people working in both biomedical and chemical areas for the capability of managing very low quantity of liquid (drug, biological liquid or expensive reagent) as well as everyone interested in controlling small flows for dedicated applications. In this paper a novel ferrofluidic pump adopting an electromagnetic actuation is proposed. The pump is realized by injecting three drops of ferrofluids into the pipe (two valves and a plunger are required) in the position where the pump must operate and by exploiting the forces produced onto each ferrofluid drop by some coils externally placed with respect to the pipe. The absence of any mechanical moving parts, the possibility to realize a volumetric pump in a section of an existing pipe without interruptions and deformation are the main advantages of the architecture proposed as compared to existing prototypes. A detailed description of the strategy proposed is presented along with a preliminary characterization of the prototype developed.