Membrane valve; Non-adsorptive polymer; Non-elastomeric polymer; Pneumatic actuation; Poly-PEGDA; Valve characterization


Pneumatically actuated, non-elastomeric membrane valves fabricated from polymerized polyethylene glycol diacrylate (poly-PEGDA) have been characterized for temporal response, valve closure, and long-term durability. A ∼100 ms valve opening time and a ∼20 ms closure time offer valve operation as fast as 8 Hz with potential for further improvement. Comparison of circular and rectangular valve geometries indicates that the surface area for membrane interaction in the valve region is important for valve performance. After initial fabrication, the fluid pressure required to open a closed circular valve is ∼50 kPa higher than the control pressure holding the valve closed. However, after ∼1000 actuations to reconfigure polymer chains and increase elasticity in the membrane, the fluid pressure required to open a valve becomes the same as the control pressure holding the valve closed. After these initial conditioning actuations, poly-PEGDA valves show considerable robustness with no change in effective operation after 115,000 actuations. Such valves constructed from non-adsorptive poly-PEGDA could also find use as pumps, for application in small volume assays interfaced with biosensors or impedance detection, for example.

Original Publication Citation

Chad I. Rogers, Joseph B. Oxborrow, Ryan R. Anderson, Long-Fang Tsai, Gregory P. Nordin, Adam T. Woolley. Microfluidic valves made from polymerized polyethylene glycol diacrylate. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. Volume 191, February 2014, Pages 438–444. doi:10.1016/j.snb.2013.10.008.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Electrical and Computer Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor