Particle motion in microfluidic contraction and expansion flows

Mona Utne Larsen, Nina C. Shapley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Many analytical operations at the microfluidic scale, such as cell sorting, involve flows containing particles. However, only a limited amount of work to date covers the fundamentals of particle behavior during flow in microchannels, especially those with complex geometries. A microfluidic system is attractive as a tool for fundamental studies of particulate flows for two main reasons, specifically, the ease of fabricating and testing multiple flow geometries and the accessibility of certain flow conditions (e.g. high shear rates and low Reynolds numbers) that are difficult to achieve in macroscopic systems. This experimental study focuses on microfluidic flows of monomodal suspensions of rigid spheres in abrupt, symmetric contractions and expansions. Flow cells were fabricated by standard soft lithography methods. 10 urn and 32 um diameter PMMA particles were suspended at low concentrations in a density-matched solution of glycerin and water containing a fluorescent dye. Particle motion was visualized by fluorescence microscopy and image analysis allowed the tracking of individual particles' trajectories. Particle trajectory results will be presented for microchannel geometries with several contraction/expansion ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event05AIChE: 2005 AIChE Annual Meeting and Fall Showcase - Cincinnati, OH, United States
Duration: Oct 30 2005Nov 4 2005


Other05AIChE: 2005 AIChE Annual Meeting and Fall Showcase
CountryUnited States
CityCincinnati, OH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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