Two-layer multiplexed peristaltic pumps for high-density integrated microfluidics

Matthew C. Cole, Amit V. Desai, Paul J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The integration and operation of a large number of components is needed to enable ever more complex and integrated chemical and biological processes on a single microfluidic chip. The capabilities of these chips are often limited by the maximum number of pumps and valves that can be controlled on a single chip, a limitation typically set by the number of pneumatic interconnects available from ancillary hardware. Here, we report a multiplexing approach that greatly reduces the number of external pneumatic connections needed for the operation of a large number of peristaltic pumps. The utility of the approach is demonstrated with a complex microfluidic network capable of generating and routing liquid droplets in a two-phase flow. We also report a set of design rules for the design and operation of multiplexed peristaltic pumps, based on a study of the effect of the number of valves per pump and the valve-to-valve distance on the performance of peristaltic pumps. The multiplexing approach reported here may find application in a wide range of microfluidic chips for chemical and biological applications, especially those that require the integration of many different operations on a single chip and those that need to perform similar operations massively in parallel, in sub-nanoliter volumes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-393
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2011


  • Microfluidic multiplexing
  • Multilayer soft lithography
  • Pneumatic valves and pumps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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