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Issue 23, 2011
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Microfluidic device based on a micro-hydrocyclone for particle–liquid separation

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This paper presents theoretical analysis, design, simulation, fabrication and test of a microfluidic device (‘Micro-hydrocyclone’) for separation of micron and submicron size solid particles from liquid in a particle liquid mixture. A theoretical analysis of the micro-hydrocyclone is performed to understand the physics and develop suitable design models. The structure of the proposed device is designed based on the Bradley model, as it offers lower cut-size thus making it suitable for microfluidics applications. The operational parameters are derived from the dimensional group model. The particle separation process inside the micro-hydrocyclone is simulated by solving fluid flows using Navier–Stokes equations and particle dynamics using a Lagrangian approach in a Eulerian fluid. The influence of inlet velocity and density on separation efficiency is investigated. The device is fabricated with SU-8 photoresist on a PMMA substrate using a combination of photolithography and micro-milling. Experiments are performed to demonstrate particle–liquid separation using polystyrene microbeads suspended in PBS as the feed sample. The influence of inlet velocity and particle size on particle separation efficiency is measured and compared with that obtained from simulations and a good match was found. The proposed device can be easily integrated with micro-environments thus it is suitable for lab-on-chip and microsystems development. The device may have applications in chemical analysis, materials research, point-of-care, blood sample preparation and other biomedical applications.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic device based on a micro-hydrocyclone for particle–liquid separation

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jul 2011, accepted on 30 Aug 2011 and first published on 26 Oct 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20606K
Lab Chip, 2011,11, 4012-4021

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    Microfluidic device based on a micro-hydrocyclone for particle–liquid separation

    P. Bhardwaj, P. Bagdi and A. K. Sen, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 4012
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20606K

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