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High-throughput, single-stream microparticle focusing using a microchannel with asymmetric sharp corners

Research paper by Liang-Liang Fan, Yu Han, Xu-Kun He, Liang Zhao, Jiang Zhe

Indexed on: 04 Feb '14Published on: 04 Feb '14Published in: Microfluidics and nanofluidics



Abstract

A new microfluidic device for fast and high-throughput particle focusing is reported. The particle focusing is based on the combination of inertial lift force effect and centrifugal force effect generated in a microchannel with a series of repeated asymmetric sharp corners on one side of the channel wall. The inertial lift force induces two focused particle streams in the microchannel, and the centrifugal force generated at the sharp corner structures tends to drive the particles laterally away from the corner. With the use of a series of repeated asymmetric sharp corner structures, a single and highly focused particle stream was achieved near the straight channel wall at a wide range of flow rate. In comparison with other hydrodynamic particle focusing methods, this method is less sensitive to the flow rate and can work at a higher flow rate (up to 700 μL/min) and Reynolds number (Re = 129.5). With its simple structure and operation, and high throughput, this method can be potentially used in particle focusing processes in a variety of lab-on-a-chip applications.