Linda Poplawski, BigSURS 2013

Measuring Viscous Fluid Flow with Biomimetic Cilia
Presented at the 2013 BigSURS Meeting, High Point University

To understand fluid flow driven by cilia in biological systems such as in the lungs and in vertebrate embryos, we fabricated arrays of biomimetic cilia, core-shell microstructures that mimic the size of biological cilia. These biomimetic cilia are 10 microns tall and 600 nm in diameter with a flexible poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) core and an up- per portion surrounded by a thin shell of nickel. To produce flow, they are immersed in a fluid and magnetically driven by a rotating permanent magnet. As cilia in biology are immersed in environments of varying viscosities and elasticities, biomimetic cilia have the potential to contribute to a deeper understanding of how fluids are moved at the micro-scale.

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