Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Diaphragm pico-liter pump for single-cell manipulation. Biomed Microdevices 2011 Aug;13(4):651-9



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-80053911002   20 Citations


A pico-liter pump is developed and integrated into a robotic manipulation system that automatically selects and transfers individual living cells of interest to analysis locations. The pump is a displacement type pump comprising one cylindrical chamber connected to a capillary micropipette. The top of the chamber is a thin diaphragm which, when deflected, causes the volume of the fluid-filled cylindrical chamber to change thereby causing fluid in the chamber to flow in and out of the micropipette. This enables aspirating and dispensing individual living cells. The diaphragm is deflected by a piezoelectric actuator that pushes against its center. The pump aspirates and dispenses volumes of fluid between 500 pL and 250 nL at flow rates up to 250 nL/s. The piezo-driven diaphragm arrangement provides exquisite control of the flow rate in and out of the capillary orifice. This feature, in turn, allows reduced perturbation of live cells by controlling and minimizing the applied shear stresses.

Author List

Anis Y, Houkal J, Holl M, Johnson R, Meldrum D


Roger H. Johnson PhD Associate Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biocompatible Materials
Cell Line
Equipment Design
Models, Theoretical