Microstructure-induced helical vortices allow single-stream and long-term inertial focusing

Aram Chung, Dianne Pulido, Justin C. Oka, Hamed Amini, Mahdokht Masaeli, Dino Di Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fluid inertia has been used to position microparticles in confined channels because it leads to precise and predictable particle migration across streamlines in a high-throughput manner. To focus particles, typically two inertial effects have been employed: inertial migration of particles in combination with geometry-induced secondary flows. Still, the strong scaling of inertial effects with fluid velocity or channel flow rate have made it challenging to design inertial focusing systems for single-stream focusing using large-scale microchannels. Use of large-scale microchannels (≥100 μm) reduces clogging over long durations and could be suitable for non-single-use flow cells in cytometry systems. Here, we show that microstructure-induced helical vortices yield single-stream focusing of microparticles with continuous and robust operation. Numerical and experimental results demonstrate how structures contribute to improve focusing in these larger channels, through controllable cross-stream particle migration, aided by locally-tuned secondary flows from sequential obstacles that act to bring particles closer to a single focusing equilibrium position. The large-scale inertial focuser developed here can be operated in a high-throughput manner with a maximum throughput of approximately 13000 particles per s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2942-2949
Number of pages8
JournalLab on a Chip
Volume13
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 7
Externally publishedYes

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Vortex flow
Secondary flow
Throughput
Microchannels
Microstructure
Fluids
Channel flow
Flow rate
Geometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this

Microstructure-induced helical vortices allow single-stream and long-term inertial focusing. / Chung, Aram; Pulido, Dianne; Oka, Justin C.; Amini, Hamed; Masaeli, Mahdokht; Di Carlo, Dino.

In: Lab on a Chip, Vol. 13, No. 15, 07.08.2013, p. 2942-2949.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chung, A, Pulido, D, Oka, JC, Amini, H, Masaeli, M & Di Carlo, D 2013, 'Microstructure-induced helical vortices allow single-stream and long-term inertial focusing', Lab on a Chip, vol. 13, no. 15, pp. 2942-2949. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3lc41227j
Chung, Aram ; Pulido, Dianne ; Oka, Justin C. ; Amini, Hamed ; Masaeli, Mahdokht ; Di Carlo, Dino. / Microstructure-induced helical vortices allow single-stream and long-term inertial focusing. In: Lab on a Chip. 2013 ; Vol. 13, No. 15. pp. 2942-2949.
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