High-throughput sheathless and three-dimensional microparticle focusing using a microchannel with arc-shaped groove arrays
Sheathless particle focusing which utilises the secondary flow with a high throughput has great potential for use in microfluidic applications. In this work, an innovative particle focusing method was proposed. This method makes use of a mechanism that takes advantage of secondary flow and inertial migration. The device was a straight channel with arrays of arc-shaped grooves on the top surface. First, the mechanism and expected focusing phenomenon are explained using numerical simulation of the flow field and force balance. A simulation of particle trajectories was conducted as a reference, and then a series of experiments was designed and the effects of changes in particle size, flow rate and quantity of the groove structure were discussed. The microscopic images show that this particle focusing method performed well for different size particles, and the results agreed well with the theory and simulated results. Finally, the channel successfully concentrated Jurkat cells, which showed a good compatibility in the biological assay field. In this work, the arc-shaped groove channel was demonstrated to have the ability to achieve high-throughput, sheathless and three-dimensional particle focusing with simple operations.
Zhao, Q., Zhang, J., Yan, S., Yuan, D., Du, H., Alici, G. & Li, W. (2017). High-throughput sheathless and three-dimensional microparticle focusing using a microchannel with arc-shaped groove arrays. Scientific Reports, 7 41153-1-41153-11.