Size based separation and identification of particles in microfluidics through purely hydrodynamic means has gained significant interest due to a number of possible biomedical applications. Curved micro-channels, particularly spiral micro-channels with rectangular cross-section and the dynamics of particles in such channels have been extensively researched to achieve size based separation of particles. In this paper we present evidence that sheds new light on the dynamics of particles in such curved channels; that a unique particle slip velocity is associated with the focusing positions in the cross sections, which leads to a balance of forces. Our experiments therefore imply that the forces acting on the particle lead to convergence to an attractor in both the physical space (the cross section of the channel) and the slip velocity space.
Please use the publisher's recommended citation. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-30171-9#Abs1