Microfluidics Blog Posts
Tears of Wine and the Marangoni Effect
Have you ever noticed that when drinking a glass of wine, sometimes “tears” fall down in the inside of the wine glass? This is the Marangoni effect in action! Learn more and see examples…
Dielectrophoresis is a phenomenon in which an electric field is used to control the movement of electrically neutral particles. Learn about how to model this effect in both DC and AC fields.
Buoyancy-Driven μPCR for DNA Amplification
True crime + simulation: The more DNA in a sample, the easier it is to accurately test and identify biomolecules, cells, and even an entire person during forensic investigations.
Red Blood Cell Separation from a Flow Channel
Lab-on-a-chip technology can be used to separate red blood cell via magnetophoresis — for example, motion induced by magnetic fields. Simulation can be used to optimize such devices.
Thermometer Calibration: When Experimentation Falls Short
The International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90) is the industry calibration standard for measuring temperatures throughout the world. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) works to establish and maintain the ITS-90 through experiments, most notably, thermometer calibration. To better understand and overcome the shortcomings of the experimental process, Jonathan Pearce, at the UK’s National Physics Laboratory, turned to simulation. His results yielded fascinating results about the microscopic behavior of the liquid-solid interface during the freezing process.
Modeling Electroosmotic Flow and the Electrical Double Layer
Microfluidic devices are so small that the micropumps and micromixers that control and mix the fluid inside the device cannot involve any moving components. Instead, they must take advantage of electroosmotic flow. Here, I will describe the concept of electroosmosis and the electrical double layer (EDL), and how to model these in COMSOL, walking you through two example models.
Modeling an Accurate Drug Delivery Device
There are many different routes through which drugs and other medications can be delivered into a patient’s body during treatment. These include topographical ointments, pills, vaporizers, and injection systems, among others. Many of these drug delivery systems require an enormous amount of precision when it comes to the location, timing, concentration, and amount of the drug to be administered. This is where simulation can be a big help, as it can allow for the modeling of each of these aspects […]
Using a Microfluidic Valve to Separate Charged Particles
When you think of a valve, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Electromagnetic waves, or perhaps, Stokes flow separating charged chemicals in a microchannel system? Maybe neither. The truth is, when researchers try to separate small (in the picoliters region), well-defined sample volumes of chemicals, the dispensing accuracy provided by a mechanical regulator probably won’t suffice. An electrokinetic valve, a type of microfluidic valve, on the other hand, provides the perfect solution by giving researchers the flow […]
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