Bio-micropump by using a flagellate propulsive force of Escherichia coli

K. Kikuchi, R. Matsuura, H. Ueno, Y. Imai, N. Matsuki, T. Yamaguchi, T. Ishikawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper has demonstrated that a novel bio-pump is realized using a propulsive bacterium, which is Escherichia coli, in PDMS microchannel. The propulsive force of E. coli is applied successfully to generate a pump pressure in the microchannel. E. coli is retained in a position by using double optical laser tweezers for driving surrounding fluids to backward using a propulsive force. The optical tweezers stabilize a bacterium body horizontally and vertically in the center of channel for keeping a propulsive direction hence the microchannel with a bacterium has a pump effect geometrically. The generated flow ratio in the microchannel is measured by tracking of tracer particles suspended in surrounding fluids. The bacterial pump pressure is estimated from the measuring flow rate according with the theoretical analysis. As results present bio-pump utilized more than 6 times bacterium propulsive force with the energy efficiency of about 0.2% by trapping their body horizontally. This is the first report on a bio-micropump with a more effective way to utilize bacteriological propulsion. This finding would be useful for a bio-inspired design of micro devices, especially a flagellate bio-micropump.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWCE 2016 - World Congress on Engineering 2016
EditorsLen Gelman, David W.L. Hukins, S. I. Ao, S. I. Ao, Len Gelman, S. I. Ao, Alexander M. Korsunsky, Andrew Hunter
PublisherNewswood Limited
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9789881925305
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventWorld Congress on Engineering 2016, WCE 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2016 Jun 292016 Jul 1

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science
ISSN (Print)2078-0958


OtherWorld Congress on Engineering 2016, WCE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Bio-micropump
  • Escheichia coli
  • Flagellate swimming
  • Laser tweezers
  • Micro devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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