Pressure-driven flow is a means of driving liquid flow by applying gas pressure (or vacuum) to a sealed reservoir. A pressure and/or flow sensor is used to close the control loop, enabling high-precision control of the liquid flow. This approach has a number of advantages over conventional microfluidic drive systems / pumps, including rapid response time, stable flow control and the ability to support a wide range of flow rates.
In addition, because the pump (or pressure source) does not contact the liquid directly, cross-contamination between liquids is avoided. This separation supports the reusable-consumable model widely adopted across diagnostics, with the pump located in a reusable part of the system (i.e. instrument) and the liquid path in a consumable (i.e. cartridge). With its pulsation-free output, high-precision control and compact form factor, Disc Pump is an ideal miniaturised pressure source for many microfluidic applications.
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