Microflow manipulation with applications to actuation and sensing
The precise manipulation of fluids at small length scales has a number of applications in the areas of sensing, actuation and manufacturing. Thermally responsive fluids allow flow control at small length scales including valving in microchannels and the manipulation of droplet spreading. We have applied these materials to a micromanipulator concept for soft robotics. Flow manipulation in the human body can be achieved using hollow microneedles. We have developed a fabrication process for hollow metallic microneedles that are suitable as an interface with the body for the injection and extraction of fluids. We show different modalities of fluid delivery and examples of biosensing applications based on such devices.