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In this study, a novel viscosity measurement technique based on measuring the deflection of flexible (poly) dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micropillars is presented. The experimental results show a nonlinear relationship between fluid viscosity and the deflection of micropillars due to viscoelastic properties of PDMS. A calibration curve, demonstrating this nonlinear relationship, is generated, and used to determine the viscosity of an unknown fluid. Using our method, viscosity measurements for Newtonian fluids (glycerol/water solutions) can be performed within 2-100 cP at shear rates γ = 60.5-398.4 s-1. We also measured viscosity of human whole blood samples (non-Newtonian fluid) yielding 2.7-5.1 cP at shear rates γ = 120-345.1 s-1, which compares well with measurements using conventional rotational viscometers (3.6-5.7 cP). With a sensitivity better than 0.5 cP, this method has the potential to be used as a portable microfluidic viscometer for real-time rheological studies.

Original publication




Journal article


Anal chim acta

Publication Date





107 - 115


Blood, Deflection, Microfluidics, Micropillars, Rheology, Viscosity, Calibration, Glycerol, Humans, Microfluidics, Rheology, Viscosity