Label-free, size-dependent cell-sorting applications based on inertial focusing phenomena have attracted much interest during the last decade. The separation capability heavily depends on the precision of microparticle focusing. In this study, five-loop spiral microchannels with a height of 90 µm and a width of 500 µm are introduced. Unlike their original spiral counterparts, these channels have elliptic configurations of varying initial aspect ratios, namely major axis to minor axis ratios of 3:2, 11:9, 9:11, and 2:3. Accordingly, the curvature of these configurations increases in a curvilinear manner through the channel. The effects of the alternating curvature and channel Reynolds number on the focusing of fluorescent microparticles with sizes of 10 and 20 µm in the prepared suspensions were investigated. At volumetric flow rates between 0.5 and 3.5 mL/min (allowing separation), each channel was tested to collect samples at the designated outlets. Then, these samples were analyzed by counting the particles. These curved channels were capable of separating 20 and 10 µm particles with total yields up to approximately 95% and 90%, respectively. The results exhibited that the level of enrichment and the focusing behavior of the proposed configurations are promising compared to the existing microfluidic channel configurations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited