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Issue 13, 2020
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4D synchrotron microtomography and pore-network modelling for direct in situ capillary flow visualization in 3D printed microfluidic channels

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Abstract

Powder-based 3D printing was employed to produce porous, capillarity-based devices suitable for passive microfluidics. Capillary imbibition in such devices was visualized in situ through dynamic synchrotron X-ray microtomography performed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) with sub-second time resolution. The obtained reconstructed images were segmented to observe imbibition dynamics, as well as to compute the system effective contact angle and to generate a pore-network to model capillary imbibition. A contact angle gradient was observed resulting in a preferential wicking direction, with the central portion of the microfluidic channel filling faster than the edge areas. The contact angle analysis and the pore-network model results suggest that this is due to spatial variations in the material surface properties arising from both the 3D printing and the subsequent drying processes.

Graphical abstract: 4D synchrotron microtomography and pore-network modelling for direct in situ capillary flow visualization in 3D printed microfluidic channels

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Article information


Submitted
06 Mar 2020
Accepted
01 Jun 2020
First published
01 Jun 2020

Lab Chip, 2020,20, 2403-2411
Article type
Paper

4D synchrotron microtomography and pore-network modelling for direct in situ capillary flow visualization in 3D printed microfluidic channels

A. Piovesan, T. Van De Looverbosch, P. Verboven, C. Achille, C. Parra Cabrera, E. Boller, Y. Cheng, R. Ameloot and B. Nicolai, Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 2403
DOI: 10.1039/D0LC00227E

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