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Issue 3, 2011
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Lateral and cross-lateral focusing of spherical particles in a square microchannel

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Abstract

The inertial migration of particles in micro-scale flows has received much attention due to its promising applications, such as the membrane-free passive separation of particles or cells. The particles suspended in rectangular channels are known to be focused near the center of each channel face as the channel Reynolds number (RC) increases due to the lift force balance and the hydrodynamic interactions of the particles with the wall. In this study, the three-dimensional positions of neutrally buoyant spherical particles inside a square microchannel are measured using the digital holographic microscopy technique, and a transition from the lateral tubular pinch to the cross-lateral focusing with increasing RC is reported. The particles are found to migrate first in the lateral direction and then cross-laterally toward the four equilibrium positions. A general criterion that can be used to secure the fully developed state of particle focusing in Lab-on-a-Chip applications is also derived. This criterion could be helpful for the accurate estimation of the design parameters of inertial microfluidic devices, such as RC, channel length and width, and particle diameter.

Graphical abstract: Lateral and cross-lateral focusing of spherical particles in a square microchannel

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jul 2010, accepted on 13 Oct 2010 and first published on 12 Nov 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00212G
Lab Chip, 2011,11, 460-465

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    Lateral and cross-lateral focusing of spherical particles in a square microchannel

    Y. Choi, K. Seo and S. Lee, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 460
    DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00212G

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