Stream spreading in multilayer microfluidic flows of suspensions

Mona Utne Larsen, Nina C. Shapley

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13 Scopus citations


The goal of this experimental study is to quantify the spreading of parallel streams with viscosity contrast in multilayer microfluidic flows. Three streams converge into one channel where a test fluid is sheathed between two layers of a Newtonian reference fluid. The test fluids are Newtonian fluids with viscosities ranging from 1.1 to 48.2 cP and suspensions of 10-μm-diameter PMMA particles with particle volume fractions φ = 0.16-0.30. The fluid interface locations are identified through fluorescence microscopy. The steady-state width of the center stream is strongly dependent on the viscosity ratio between the adjacent fluids and exhibits a near power-law relationship. This dependence occurs for both the Newtonian fluids and the suspensions, although the slopes differ. The high-concentration suspension (φ = 0.30) diverges from Newtonian behavior, while the low-concentration suspensions (φ = 0.16, 0.22) closely approximate that of the Newtonian fluids. The observed suspension behavior can be attributed to shear-induced particle migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1947-1953
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 5 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry

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