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Viscoelastic focusing of polydisperse particle suspensions in a straight circular microchannel
Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, Volume: 23, Issue: 7
Swansea University Author: Francesco Del Giudice
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Flow cytometry is a technique for the analysis of cells and particles by coupling a sheath flow assisted focusing microfluidic device to an optical or electrical reader. In this context, polymer solutions can be employed to drive particle and cell focusing on the centreline of simple straight microf...
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Flow cytometry is a technique for the analysis of cells and particles by coupling a sheath flow assisted focusing microfluidic device to an optical or electrical reader. In this context, polymer solutions can be employed to drive particle and cell focusing on the centreline of simple straight microfluidic channels. However, the change of the focusing efficiency due to polydispersity, which is a rule rather than the exception across cell populations, has not been extensively studied yet. In this work, the effect of particle polydispersity on the viscoelastic focusing in a straight cylindrical microchannel was studied by preparing two particle suspensions, containing different concentrations of particles with average diameters of 10μm , 15μm and 20μm , suspended in three solutions of polyethylene oxide with mass concentrations of 0.1 wt%, 0.25 wt% and 0.5 wt%. When the fluid explored the constant-viscosity region of the rheological curve, up to 95% of the particles were aligned on the channel centreline. When the fluid explored the shear-thinning region of the rheological curve, centreline focusing efficiency decreased, with the highest value of aligned particles being of 60%. For both mixtures, it was also observed that the fraction of aligned particles in a polydisperse system was not equivalent to that derived from the estimate of independent experiments with monodisperse particles.
Microfluidic, Viscoelastic, Polydisperse, 3D focusing, Alignment
College of Engineering