Continuous focusing of microparticles using inertial lift force and vorticity via multi-orifice microfluidic channels
We developed a new microfluidic method for focusing microparticles through the combined use of inertial lift forces and turbulent secondary flows generated in a topographically patterned microchannel. The mechanism of particle focusing is based on the hydrodynamic inertial forces exerted on particles migrating along a non-circular microchannel, i.e.tubular pinch effect and wall effect, which induce particle movement away from walls and along a specific lateral position in the microchannel. With the extraordinary geometry of multi-orifice microchannel, an ordered and focused particle distribution was achieved at central or side regions according to a particle Reynolds number (Rep) range. The focusing of particles was controlled by the particle Reynolds number, microchannel length, and volume fraction of particles in suspension. This method will be beneficial in particle focusing processes in a microfluidic device since it offers continuous, high-throughput performance and simple operation.