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A flow focusing microfluidic device with an integrated Coulter particle counter for production, counting and size characterization of monodisperse microbubbles

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Abstract

Flow focusing microfluidic devices (FFMDs) have been investigated for the production of monodisperse populations of microbubbles for chemical, biomedical and mechanical engineering applications. High-speed optical microscopy is commonly used to monitor FFMD microbubble production parameters, such as diameter and production rate, but this limits the scalability and portability of the approach. In this work, a novel FFMD design featuring integrated electronics for measuring microbubble diameters and production rates is presented. A micro Coulter particle counter (μCPC), using electrodes integrated within the expanding nozzle of an FFMD (FFMD-μCPC), was designed, fabricated and tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) of optimal electrode geometry was performed and validated with experimental data. Electrical data was collected for 8–20 μm diameter microbubbles at production rates up to 3.25 × 105 MB s−1 and compared to both high-speed microscopy data and FEA simulations. Within a valid operating regime, Coulter counts of microbubble production rates matched optical reference values. The Coulter method agreed with the optical reference method in evaluating the microbubble diameter to a coefficient of determination of R2 = 0.91.

Graphical abstract: A flow focusing microfluidic device with an integrated Coulter particle counter for production, counting and size characterization of monodisperse microbubbles

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 May 2018, accepted on 24 Jul 2018 and first published on 02 Aug 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC00496J
Citation: Lab Chip, 2018, Advance Article
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    A flow focusing microfluidic device with an integrated Coulter particle counter for production, counting and size characterization of monodisperse microbubbles

    J. M. R. Rickel, A. J. Dixon, A. L. Klibanov and J. A. Hossack, Lab Chip, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8LC00496J

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