Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Bradford Bruno




Liebau impedance pumping, prototyping and design, cam design, refractive index matched particle image velocimetry


This work describes the design and implementation of a fully functioning, optically accessible Liebau pump with a visualization of the flow that will be generated using refractive index matched particle image velocimetry (RIM-PIV). Liebau impedance pumping is a unique way of transporting fluid by simply compressing a flexible tube; no valves are needed. The compression mechanism used in this design is a cam and follower mechanism, chosen for its ability to controllably pinch the tube, driving the flow. In this work, RIM-PIV will be used to visualize the flow within the Liebau pump. To use this technique, the flexible tube of the pump was cast out of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to match its refractive index to that of the glycerin water solution that the pump is submerged in and that is flowing within the pump. The resulting RIM-PIV measurements, which will be the first of their kind in a Liebau impedance pump, will contribute to the understanding of the velocity profile created within a Liebau pump and to answering the question of whether Liebau pumping is responsible for creating blood flow in the early stages of embryonic heart development.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.