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Inertio–Elastic Flow Instabilities in 90° Bending Microchannel

Abstract

Biological samples having viscoelastic properties are frequently tested using microfluidic devices. In addition, viscoelastic fluids such as polymer solutions have been used as a suspending medium to spatially focus particles in microchannels. The occurrence of flow instability even at low Reynolds number is a unique property of viscoelastic fluids. In this study, we report the instability in viscoelastic flow for the channel having 90° bending geometry, which is a characteristic of many microfluidic devices. Interestingly, we observed that the flow instability in aqueous poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) solution occurs when the concentration of PEO is as low as 50 ppm. We systematically investigated the effects of the polymer concentration, flow rate, and elasticity number on the flow instability. The results show that the flow is stabilized in shear-thinning fluids, whereas the flow instability is amplified when both elastic and inertial effects are pronounced. We believe that this study is useful to design microfluidic devices such as cell-deformability measurement devices based on viscoelastic particle focusing.

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Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jul 2017, accepted on 26 Jul 2017 and first published on 27 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01355H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Inertio–Elastic Flow Instabilities in 90° Bending Microchannel

    J. Kim, S. O. Hong, T. S. Shim and J. M. Kim, Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01355H

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