Numerical design of a T-shaped microfluidic device for deformability-based separation of elastic capsules and soft beads

M.M. Villone, M. Trofa, P.L. Maffettone, M.A. Hulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We propose a square cross-section microfluidic channel with an orthogonal side branch (asymmetric T-shaped bifurcation) for the separation of elastic capsules and soft beads suspended in a Newtonian liquid on the basis of their mechanical properties. The design is performed through three-dimensional direct numerical simulations. When suspended objects start near the inflow channel centerline and the carrier fluid is equally partitioned between the two outflow branches, particle separation can be achieved based on their deformability, with the stiffer ones going "straight" and the softer ones being deviated to the "side" branch. The effects of the geometrical and physical parameters of the system on the phenomenon are investigated. Since cell deformability can be significantly modified by pathology, we give a proof of concept on the possibility of separating diseased cells from healthy ones, thus leading to illness diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053103
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume96
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2017

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