In this paper, we present that trapping and dissipating of bubbles in a microfluidic cell culture system can be simultaneously achieved by utilizing curved geometry principles. For this end, a simple and cost-effective method to fabricate a curved hemispherical microfluidic channel is presented. On the basis of an analytical model, the mechanism that the hemispherical well can trap various sizes of bubbles better than the cylindrical well is described, and we present a quantitative comparison of the trapping capabilities of the hemispherical versus conventional cylindrical wells through experiments. The surface tension is another important factor to trap bubbles, which was also verified through the analysis and experiments. In the hemispherical wells, the trapped bubbles were spontaneously dissipated under the flowing condition without using any active source, and we characterized the degassing process by measuring the area of bubbles occupied in the well over time. For an application to a biomedical system, a cell culture chamber was combined with the bubble trapping system, and the performance of the system was verified by culturing HeLa cells with the flowing bubbled culture media. Conclusively, the suggested method demonstrated excellent performance in trapping of microbubbles and dissipation without using any peripheral device, and will be broadly applied in biomedical microfluidic research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering