Magnetohydrodynamic pumping in nuclear magnetic resonance environments

We present a DC magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) pump as component of a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) microfluidic chip. This is the first time that MHD pumping in an NMR environment was observed and demonstrated. This chip generates a maximum flow rate of 1.5 μL min-1 (2.8 mm s-1 in the microchannel) for an applied voltage of 19 V with only 38 mW of power consumption in a 7 T superconductive magnet. We developed a simple method of flow rate measurement inside the bulky NMR magnet by monitoring the displacement of a liquid-liquid interface of two immiscible liquids in an off-chip capillary. We compared and validated this flow measurement technique with another established technique for microfluidics based on the displacement of microbeads. This allowed us to characterize and compare the flow rate generated by the micropump on top of a permanent magnet (B1 = 0.33 T) with the superconductive magnet (B0 = 7.05 T). We observed a 21-fold increase in flow rate corresponding to the ratio of the magnetic field intensities (B0/B1 = 21) in accordance with the theoretical flow dependence on the magnetic field intensity. The final aim is to integrate MHD pumps together with planar coils in a microfluidic system for NMR analysis. The high performance of MHD pumps at relatively low flow rates is seen as an asset for NMR and MRI applications. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Published in:
Sensors and Actuators B, 123, 636-646

 Record created 2009-05-12, last modified 2018-03-17

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