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Continuous electroosmotic sorting of particles in grooved microchannels


We propose a novel microfluidic fractionation concept suitable for delicate neutrally buoyant micron-sized particles. This approach takes advantage of the ability of grooved channel walls oriented at an angle to the direction of external electric field to generate a transverse electroosmotic flow. Using computer simulations we first demonstrate that the velocity of this secondary transverse flow depends on the distance from the wall, so neutrally buoyant particles, depending on their size and initial location, will experience different lateral displacement. We then optimize geometry and orientation of the channel walls' surface texture to maximize the efficiency of particle fractionation. Our method is illustrated in a full scale computer experiment where we mimic the typical microchannel with a bottom grooved wall and a source of polydisperse particles that are carried along the channel by the forward electroosmotic flow. Our simulations show that the particle dispersion can be efficiently separated by size even in a channel that is only a few texture periods long. These results can guide the design of novel microfluidic devices for efficient sorting of delicate microparticles.

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 May 2017, accepted on 05 Sep 2017 and first published on 05 Sep 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00986K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Continuous electroosmotic sorting of particles in grooved microchannels

    A. L. Dubov, T. Y. Molotilin and O. I. Vinogradova, Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00986K

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