Many laboratory applications utilizing droplet microfluidics rely on precision syringe pumps for flow generation. In this study, the use of an open-source peristaltic pump primarily composed of 3D printed parts and a low-cost commercial Venturi pump are explored for their use as an alternative to syringe pumps for droplet microfluidics. Both devices provided stable flow (<2% RSD) over a range of 1–7 μL/min and high reproducibility in signal intensity at a droplet generation rate around 0.25 Hz (<3% RSD), which are comparable in performance to similar measurements on standard syringe pumps. As a novel flow generation source for microfluidic applications, the use of the miniaturized Venturi pump was also applied to droplet signal monitoring studies used to measure changes in concentration over time, with average signal reproducibility <4% RSD for both single-stream fluorometric and reagent addition colorimetric applications. These low-cost flow methods provide stable flow sufficient for common droplet microfluidic approaches and can be implemented in a wide variety of simple, and potentially portable, analytical measurement devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry