Inertial microfluidics has become one of the emerging topics due to potential applications such as particle separation, particle enrichment, rapid detection and diagnosis of circulating tumor cells. To realize its integration to such applications, underlying physics should be well understood. This study focuses on particle dynamics in curvilinear channels with different curvature angles (280°, 230°, and 180°) and different channel heights (90, 75, and 60 µm) where the advantages of hydrodynamic forces were exploited. We presented the cruciality of the three-dimensional particle position with respect to inertial lift forces and Dean drag force by examining the focusing behavior of 20 µm (large), 15 µm (medium) and 10 µm (small) fluorescent polystyrene microparticles for a wide range of flow rates (400–2700 µL/min) and corresponding channel Reynolds numbers. Migration of the particles in lateral direction and their equilibrium positions were investigated in detail. In addition, in the light of our findings, we described two different regions: transition region, where the inner wall becomes the outer wall and vice versa, and the outlet region. The maximum distance between the tight particle stream of 20 and 15 µm particles was obtained in the 90 high channel with curvature angle of 280° at Reynolds number of 144 in the transition region (intersection of the turns), which was the optimum condition/configuration for focusing.
Microfluids and Nanofluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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