A Design for Mixing Using Bubbles in Branched Microfluidic Channels
"Design for mixing using bubbles in branched microfluidic channels" Piotr Garstecki, Michael A. Fischbach, and George M. Whitesides Applied Physics Letters 86(24) 244108 (2005)
Soft Matter Keywords
microfluidic, bubbles, laminar mixing, Peclet
This paper details experimental work and simple supporting theory regarding mixing in microfluidic channels. For most microfluidic systems, the Reynolds number remains small (less than 1000), so turbulence is absent and mixing only occurs via diffusion. Typical Peclet numbers in microfluidic channels are on the order of 1e5, indicating that mixing to homogeneity requires length scales on the order of 10 meters. These lengths are not easily achieved on microfluidic devices due to finite substrate limits for fabrication and large pressure drops in the long channels, so the authors propose a novel method of mixing that aid the diffusion process. Using bubbles to fold two liquid streams into one another, greater contact area between the fluids is created, aiding in diffusion.
Practical Application of Research
Microfluidic Mixing Using Bubbles
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