Infoscience

Conference paper

Design of a Passive Flow Regulator Using a Genetic Algorithm

Passive flow regulators are usually intended to deliver or drain a fluid at a constant rate independently from pressure variations. Microfluidic devices made of a stack of two plates are considered here: the first plate comprises a flexible silicon membrane having through holes while the second plate is a rigid substrate with a cavity, an outlet hole and pillars aligned with the through holes of the membrane. The liquid flows through the holes etched in the membrane and through the small gap between the bottom of the membrane and the pillars: each hole can therefore be considered as a valve which progressively closes as the pressure increases, thus leading to a non-linear fluidic behaviour. FEM simulations have been performed to ensure a constant flow rate in the specified range of pressure. To make the design reliable, the device characteristics have been optimized using an evolutionary algorithm. The fitness function notably takes into account machining and alignment tolerances. Typical designs dedicated to drug delivery and hydrocephalus treatment are discussed.

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