PiFlow: A biocompatible low-cost programmable dynamic flow pumping system utilizing a Raspberry Pi Zero and commercial piezoelectric pumps
Author(s)Kassis, Timothy; Perez, Paola M.; Yang, Chloe J.; Soenksen Martinez, Luis Ruben; Trumper, David L; Griffith, Linda G; ... Show more Show less
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With the rise of research utilizing microphysiological systems (MPSs), the need for tools that enable the physiological mimicking of the relevant cellular environment is vital. The limited ability to reproduce crucial features of the microenvironment, such as surrounding fluid flow and dynamic changes in biochemical stimuli, severely limits the types of experiments that can be carried out. Current equipment to achieve this, such as syringe and peristaltic pumps, is expensive, large, difficult to program and has limited potential for scalability. Here, we present a new pumping platform that is open-source, low-cost, modular, scalable, fully-programmable and easy to assemble that can be incorporated into cell culture systems to better recapitulate physiological environments. By controlling two commercially available piezoelectric pumps using a Raspberry Pi Zero microcontroller, the system is capable of producing arbitrary dynamic flow profiles with reliable flow rates ranging from 1 to 3000 µL/min as specified by an easily programmable Python-based script. We validated the accuracy of the flow rates, the use of time-varying profiles, and the practicality of the system by creating repeatable dynamic concentration profiles using a 3D-printed static micromixer.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Biotechnology Process Engineering Center; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biological Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Kassis, Timothy, Paola M. Perez, Chloe J.W. Yang, Luis R. Soenksen, David L. Trumper, and Linda G. Griffith. “PiFlow: A Biocompatible Low-Cost Programmable Dynamic Flow Pumping System Utilizing a Raspberry Pi Zero and Commercial Piezoelectric Pumps.” HardwareX 4 (October 2018): e00034.
Final published version