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Issue 3, 2012
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Filtering microfluidic bubble trains at a symmetric junction

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Abstract

We report how a nominally symmetric microfluidic junction can be used to sort all bubbles of an incoming train exclusively into one of its arms. The existence of this “filter” regime is unexpected, given that the junction is symmetric. We analyze this behavior by quantifying how bubbles modulate the hydrodynamic resistance in microchannels and show how speeding up a bubble train whilst preserving its spatial periodicity can lead to filtering at a nominally symmetric junction. We further show how such an asymmetric traffic of bubble trains can be triggered in symmetric geometries by identifying conditions wherein the resistance to flow decreases with an increase in the number of bubbles in the microchannel and derive an exact criterion to predict the same.

Graphical abstract: Filtering microfluidic bubble trains at a symmetric junction

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jul 2011, accepted on 19 Sep 2011 and first published on 03 Nov 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20639G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 582-588
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    Filtering microfluidic bubble trains at a symmetric junction

    P. Parthiban and S. A. Khan, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 582
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20639G

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