What is it about?
Microfluidics deals with control and manipulation of small volumes of fluids through channels with characteristic length scales on the order of micrometers, and it exercises precise dynamic control over the flow to study new phenomena occurring in fluids. Microfluidics has the potential to solve some of the grand engineering challenges, such as engineering better medicines, providing access to clean water, and solving energy problems due to its ability to use very small controlled volume of samples and reagents, high resolution separation, and detection with great sensitivity. However, it is difficult to mix component fluids in microchannels spontaneously, thanks to the absence of turbulence in the viscosity dominated laminar flow regimes in the small characteristic length scales. One major bottleneck in developing an efficient microfluidic device is, thus, the difficulty in mixing miscible fluid components homogeneously and spontaneously in viscosity dominated regime. In this work that bottleneck is resolved!
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Why is it important?
Microfluidics can be a game changer for many industrial and diagnostic applications. Many companies like Theranos tried to exploit the benefits of microfluidics, but failed because of the difficulty associated with mixing of component fluids/reagents in a microchannel. An easy and scalable solution of this mixing problem can help the microfluidic industry to reach its true potential.
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This page is a summary of: Boundary condition induced passive chaotic mixing in straight microchannels, Physics of Fluids, May 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0088014.
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