We describe a new method for accurately and reproducibly delivering a minute amount of a chemical to a small target in an aqueous environment. Our method is based on a micropipette with a check valve at its tip that can be opened and closed on demand. We demonstrate that this device can produce a flux of 10-12 l in a short pulse lasting less than 100 ms. The finite width of the pulse is due to molecular dispersion of the chemical, in this case, fluorescein. The chemical distribution near the micropipette tip is measured and compared with the results of a numerical integration assuming stokeslet flow. Our technique is of general utility and has applications in microbiology and neuroscience when a precise control of the spatiotemporal chemical distribution around a specimen is desired.
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