Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 21, 2009
Previous Article Next Article

Inertial microfluidics

Author affiliations


Despite the common wisdom that inertia does not contribute to microfluidic phenomena, recent work has shown a variety of useful effects that depend on fluid inertia for applications in enhanced mixing, particle separation, and bioparticle focusing. Due to the robust, fault-tolerant physical effects employed and high rates of operation, inertial microfluidic systems are poised to have a critical impact on high-throughput separation applications in environmental cleanup and physiological fluids processing, as well as bioparticle focusing applications in clinical diagnostics. In this review I will discuss the recent accelerated progress in developing prototype inertial microfluidic systems for a variety of applications and attempt to clarify the fundamental fluid dynamic effects that are being exploited. Finally, since this a nascent area of research, I will suggest some future promising directions exploiting fluid inertia on the microscale.

Graphical abstract: Inertial microfluidics

Back to tab navigation

Article information

25 Jun 2009
19 Aug 2009
First published
22 Sep 2009

Lab Chip, 2009,9, 3038-3046
Article type
Critical Review

Inertial microfluidics

D. Di Carlo, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 3038
DOI: 10.1039/B912547G

Social activity

Search articles by author