A Magnetic Shape Memory Micropump: Contact-Free, and Compatible with PCR and Human DNA Profiling

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Magnetic shape memory (MSM) Ni–Mn–Ga elements are relatively new materials with a variety of remarkable properties. They respond to changes in magnetic fields by elongating and shortening up to 6%. We have constructed a micropump which consists principally of a single component, the MSM element. The pump can be driven by the rotation of a diametrically magnetized cylindrical magnet or by an electrical rotation of the magnetic field; it is reversible, and can be effectively operated by hand without any electrical power. The MSM element does not inhibit the polymerase chain reaction. We demonstrate that it is compatible with forensic applications and show that it does not inhibit human DNA profiling. This novel pump is suitable for lab-on-a-chip applications that require microfluidics.