Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Phanindra Tallapragada

Committee Member

Dr. Xiangchun Xuan

Committee Member

Dr. Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte

Abstract

The ability to control and manipulate the motion of particles or bio-cells from a complex mixture has been the center of attention since the beginning of microfluidics. The microfluidics community has always strived to develop miniaturized `lab on chip' devices to achieve fastest and most accurate size based separation of cells from given bio-sample. While in last few years, people have come up with different solutions like electrophoresis, magnetophoresis, etc.; but most of them rely on low Reynolds number operation and hence increase the overall processing time of the sample. The recent development in the field of inertial microfluidics can be the answer to this problem. The present thesis is based on the experimental study of the dynamics of the particle focusing behavior in spiral microchannels in inertial flow regime. The effect of some of the critical geometrical parameters like width of the channel cross-section, particle confinement ratio and some of the flow parameters like channel Reynolds number and Dean number on the focusing behavior of particles in spiral channels is studied. Based on the new understanding, a design rule for is put forward to achieve separation of particles in spiral microchannels in a single pass. Lastly, an experimental study is performed to understand the effect of aspect ratio of the cross-section on the focusing of particles in spiral microchannels. This new understanding of high throughput inertial focusing of particles in spiral microchannels is another step forward towards the development of `lab on chip' devices to achieve separation in one pass and towards the development of a theory explaining the focusing of particles in inertial flow regime.

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