Inertial Focusing, a Counterintuitive Approach to Concentrate Cells
Suppose we have a rectangular microchannel containing a laminar flow with Reynolds number Re = 1. Next, let’s randomly distribute suspended particles at the channel’s inlet. Given that there are no external forces acting on these particles, you would intuitively expect that the particles would trace the fluid streamline. However, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Veryst Engineering would disagree, and their research findings suggest a completely different pattern than what would be expected. The researchers claim that depending on the geometry of the flow channel, Dean number, and the particle and channel Reynolds number, the randomly dispersed particles will converge to an equilibrium position that would not be described by the typical flow streamlines.