Active Biomimetic Cilia Using Nanowires

Introduction Critical challenges in emerging bio-fluidic devices lie in bio-compatible transport of small sample volumes and bio-reaction enhancement without damaging biomolecules. In nature, biological cilia are hair-like structures whose rhymic beating provides motility for cells and microorganisms. Mimicking the action of biological cilia for gentle fluid mixing could solve the problem of small volume mixing. Technology description University of Washington researchers have developed a system of bio-mimetic cilia actuated by low frequency vibration (under 100 Hz). They developed elastomeric structures with high aspect ratios to mimic cilia and their motions. PDMS cilia arrays were fabricated with a novel release and assembly method that avoids the individual structures from sticking to one another. Fluid flow around the cilia was studied and convective flow was confirmed. Business opportunity A prototype device has been developed and research is ongoing. This device and method will be of interest in the fields of microfluidics and microarrays. Intellectual property position The UW is reviewing this work for worldwide patenting.

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