Tesla valve microfluidics: the rise of forgotten technology

Agnes Purwidyantri, Briliant Adhi Prabowo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The Tesla valve (TV), a valvular conduit invented by Nicola Tesla over a century ago, has recently acquired significant attention and application in various fields because of the growing interest in microfluidics and nanofluidics. The unique architecture of TV characterized by an asymmetrical design and an arc-shaped channel has long been an intriguing yet underrated design for building a passive component in a microfluidic system. While previously regarded as a technology without significant use, TV structures have been implemented in thermal manipulation fluidics, micromixers and micropumps, benefitting the advancement of urgently demanding technology in various areas, such as in biomedical diagnostics through wearable electronics and medical instruments, lab on a chip, chemosensors and in application toward sustainable technology manifested in fuel cell devices. This article presents the first comprehensive review of TV structures in the literature, which has seen significant growth in the last two years. The review discusses typical TV structures, including single-stage TV (STV), multistage TV (MSTV), and TV derivatives (TVD), along with their characteristics and potential applications. The designs of these structures vary based on their intended applications, but all are constructed based on the fundamental principle of the TV structure. Finally, future trends and potential applications of TV structures are summarized and discussed. This topical review provides a valuable reference for students, early-career scientists, and practitioners in fluidic devices, particularly those interested in using TV structures as passive components.
Original languageEnglish
Article number256
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2023


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