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The Generation, Characterization and Application of Microvortices in Microfluidic Systems (Keynote Paper)

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Patrick Shelby, David S. W. Lim, Jason S. Kuo, Daniel T. Chiu

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Paper No. ICMM2005-75259, pp. 203-210; 8 pages
  • ASME 3rd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • ASME 3rd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels, Parts A and B
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 13–15, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4185-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3758-0
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


This review describes the formation of microvortices in microfluidic systems, and discusses our experimental measurements that illustrate the velocity profiles inside such microvortices. Because of the micrometer dimensions of these vortices and the presence of high rotational velocities, we have observed a number of unique phenomena. One example is the dynamic formation of ring patterns of particles within the microvortex. The mechanism by which these patterns form relies on a balance between the centrifugal and displacement forces experienced by the re-circulating particles with a lift force exerted on the particles near the solid boundary of the microcavity. We also demonstrate the ability to orient and rotate precisely micro and nanometer -sized particles, individual DNA molecules, and single cells. Because of the high linear velocity (m/s) of fluid flow in constricted microchannels and to the small radii (< 10μm) of the microvortices, we have measured the presence of ultrahigh radial accelerations (v2 /r) in such microvortices, which can reach 107 m/s2 or 106 times the gravitational acceleration (g).

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Microfluidics



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