Microfluidic flow control : short review about Cellix ExiGo syringe pump
Introduction about Cellix Exigo
Outside of conventional syringe pump which generate flow oscillation at low flow rate we can know found syringe pump dedicated to microfluidic experiment. In theory a microfluidic syringe pump do not generate visible flow oscillation at low flow rate.
The main difference between Cellix Exigo syringe pump and the others is that they include a flow meter feed-back loop which enable them to adjust the flow rate in real time and then overcome the main second drawback of syringe pump for microfluidic, the response time. To learn more about syringe pump and microfluidic and how to optimize their side effect read our tutorial about the use of syringe pump in microfluidics.
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Flow oscillation and stability
Lets come back to flow oscillation, reading their datasheet, the Cellix pump is enable to generate pulse-free flow rate down to 10nL/min with a 250µL glass syringe and 100nL/min with a 5mL plastic syringe.
To achieve those performance this pump use an high resolution step motor drive mechanism ( 250000 steps per one revolution of lead screw ) and a patented pulse damping method. When measured with their flow sensors, the flow rate stability will be +/-0.25% of the full scale ( from Cellix Exigo datasheet ).
Response time and settling time
Lets go to the most interesting point of the cellix Exigo pump. The pump include a flow meter and feed back loop which enable in theory to overcome the low response time of syringe pump in microfluidic. As explained in the microfluidic syringe pump review home page, when applying a flow rate using a syringe pump, the fluidic system (tubing, chip syringe … ) begin to deform and delay the establishment of the flow rate. At low flow rate and using elastic fluidic system such as plastic syringe, tygon tubing and PDMS microfluidic chip the flow rate can take several minute or hours to be reach the desired value. Using flow meter and feed back loop the Cellix Exigo pump adjust the motor speed to reach the desired flow rate faster.
As show in datasheet this pump can set a flow rate in 50ms in a microfluidic device. We don’t know in which condition it can be reached ( in this particular case we don’t think it come from the feedback loop since it is quite to fast to enable a enough numbers of feedback loop between flow meter and motor). We think that this very fast settling time of 50 ms settling time described into the datasheet could be due to a very good mechanical contact inside this syringe pump coupled with a non compliant microfluidic system. Whatever it is easy to expect that if they have a good feedback loop with a fast electronics control ( such as integrated processor to control the feedback loop) the Cellix Exigo syringe pump may be able to established the desired flow rate in any microfluidic system in some hundredth of seconds or seconds.
Whatever for Elveflow R&D team, the ability to measure the flow rate of a syringe pump in real time and to adjust it using the feedback loop may be a good alternative to pressure control depending of your microfluidic applications.
Additional information about Cellix Exigo syringe pump
We didn’t try for long time the Cellix software for the moment, so we have for the moment no point of view on it . But we like the idea to be able to control the Cellix pump with an Ipod.
The Cellix pump have a maximum working pressure of 2 bars.It could be limiting for high flow resistance microfluidic device but should fit for 90% of microfluidic applications.
The pump include external trigger for synchronization with other instrument such as microscope or camera. We like this point since from our point of view more and more microfluidic experiment require synchronization between several instruments.
If you want more information about the Cellix Exigo syringe pump, you can contact Phillipa Timmins from Cellix or contact us.
Note : We didn’t test directly the Cellix Exigo syringe pump in our microfluidic lab. This short note rely on discussion with their representative during microfluidic conference and Cellix Exigo datasheet.
Discover other microfluidic syringe pump of our review : New Era 1002X syringe pump, Harvard Apparatus Phd ultra advanced syringe pump, Harvard Apparatus 11 pico plus Elite syringe pump, KD Scientific Legato 180 Picoliter Syringe Pump.
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