Expert Views

Micro and Nanofluidics: Historical Perspectives and Challenges

[+] Author and Article Information
A. T. Conlisk

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
The Ohio State University,
Columbus, OH 43210-1107
e-mail: conlisk.1@osu.edu

Manuscript received August 2, 2013; final manuscript received September 13, 2013; published online October 10, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Debjyoti Banerjee.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 4(2), 020908 (Oct 10, 2013) (4 pages) Paper No: NANO-13-1047; doi: 10.1115/1.4025463 History: Received August 02, 2013; Revised September 13, 2013

In this paper, we discuss the fundamentals of micro and nanofluidics and the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The study of fluid flows at micro and nanoscales inevitably requires expertise in and an understanding of surface chemistry, electrostatics and electrokinetics, electrochemistry, molecular biology, heat and mass transfer, and macroscale fluid mechanics simultaneously. To design devices having micro and nanoscale features requires a team approach involving chemists, biologists, medical researchers and practitioners, engineers, and systems analysts. Significant advances have been made in the last 20 years in developing the capability of designing devices with microscale and nanoscale features. However, challenges remain in each of the three pillars of micro and nanofluidics: modeling, experimentation, and fabrication. Several challenges are discussed; those falling within the areas of modeling and experiment are described in some detail. It is clear in the present research environment that understanding the micro/nanofluidic environment is crucial to achieving the efficient and cost-effective design of biomedical devices.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Drawing of a nanopump containing a nanopore membrane. In many of these systems, transport is from the microscale to the nanoscale and back to the microscale.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Typical geometry for a channel in a nanopore membrane [12]



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