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Micromachines, Volume 6, Issue 12 (December 2015)

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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Micromachining Process of Dielectric and Metallic Substrates Immersed in Water with Femtosecond Pulses
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 2010-2022; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121471
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2309 | PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Micromachining of 1 mm thick dielectric and metallic substrates was conducted using femtosecond pulse generated filaments in water. Several hundred microjoule energy pulses were focused within a water layer covering the samples. Within this water layer, non-linear self-action mechanisms transform the beam, which [...] Read more.
Micromachining of 1 mm thick dielectric and metallic substrates was conducted using femtosecond pulse generated filaments in water. Several hundred microjoule energy pulses were focused within a water layer covering the samples. Within this water layer, non-linear self-action mechanisms transform the beam, which enables higher quality and throughput micromachining results compared to focusing in air. Evidence of beam transformation into multiple light filaments is presented along with theoretical modeling results. In addition, multiparametric optimization of the fabrication process was performed using statistical methods and certain acquired dependencies are further explained and tested using laser shadowgraphy. We demonstrate that this micromachining process exhibits complicated dynamics within the water layer, which are influenced by the chosen parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Laser Micromachining and Microfabrication)
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Open AccessArticle Fluid Flow Shear Stress Stimulation on a Multiplex Microfluidic Device for Rat Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Differentiation Enhancement
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1996-2009; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121470
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2471 | PDF Full-text (5280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microfluidic devices provide low sample consumption, high throughput, high integration, and good environment controllability advantages. An alternative to conventional bioreactors, microfluidic devices are a simple and effective platform for stem cell investigations. In this study, we describe the design of a microfluidic device [...] Read more.
Microfluidic devices provide low sample consumption, high throughput, high integration, and good environment controllability advantages. An alternative to conventional bioreactors, microfluidic devices are a simple and effective platform for stem cell investigations. In this study, we describe the design of a microfluidic device as a chemical and mechanical shear stress bioreactor to stimulate rat bone marrow stromal cells (rBMSCs) into neuronal cells. 1-methyl-3-isobutylxanthine (IBMX) was used as a chemical reagent to induce rBMSCs differentiation into neurons. Furthermore, the shear stress applied to rBMSCs was generated by laminar microflow in the microchannel. Four parallel microfluidic chambers were designed to provide a multiplex culture platform, and both the microfluidic chamber-to-chamber, as well as microfluidic device-to-device, culture stability were evaluated. Our research shows that rBMSCs were uniformly cultured in the microfluidic device and differentiated into neuronal cells with IBMX induction. A three-fold increase in the neuronal cell differentiation ratio was noted when rBMSCs were subjected to both IBMX and fluid flow shear stress stimulation. Here, we propose a microfluidic device which is capable of providing chemical and physical stimulation, and could accelerate neuronal cell differentiation from bone marrow stromal cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optofluidics 2015) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Liquid Gradient Refractive Index Microlens for Dynamically Adjusting the Beam Focusing
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1984-1995; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121469
Received: 23 September 2015 / Revised: 1 November 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2078 | PDF Full-text (3876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An in-plane liquid gradient index (L-GRIN) microlens is designed for dynamically adjusting the beam focusing. The ethylene glycol solution (core liquid) withde-ionized (DI) water (cladding liquid) is co-injected into the lens chamber to form a gradient refractive index profile. The influences of the [...] Read more.
An in-plane liquid gradient index (L-GRIN) microlens is designed for dynamically adjusting the beam focusing. The ethylene glycol solution (core liquid) withde-ionized (DI) water (cladding liquid) is co-injected into the lens chamber to form a gradient refractive index profile. The influences of the diffusion coefficient, mass fraction of ethylene glycol and flow rate of liquids on the refractive index profile of L-GRIN microlens are analyzed, and the finite element method and ray tracing method are used to simulate the convection-diffusion process and beam focusing process, which is helpful for the prediction of focusing effects and manipulation of the device. It is found that not only the focal length but the focal spot of the output beam can be adjusted by the diffusion coefficient, mass fraction and flow rate of liquids. The focal length of the microlens varies from 942 to 11 μm when the mass fraction of the ethylene glycol solution varies from 0.05 to 0.4, and the focal length changes from 127.1 to 8 μm by varying the flow rate of the core liquid from 0.5 × 103 to 5 × 103 pL/s when there is no slip between the core and cladding inlet. The multiple adjustable microlens with a simple planar microfluidic structure can be used in integrated optics and lab-on-chip systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optofluidics 2015) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Fiber-Based, Injection-Molded Optofluidic Systems: Improvements in Assembly and Applications
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1971-1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121468
Received: 7 November 2015 / Revised: 1 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 December 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3287 | PDF Full-text (5138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We present a method to fabricate polymer optofluidic systems by means of injection molding that allow the insertion of standard optical fibers. The chip fabrication and assembly methods produce large numbers of robust optofluidic systems that can be easily assembled and disposed of, [...] Read more.
We present a method to fabricate polymer optofluidic systems by means of injection molding that allow the insertion of standard optical fibers. The chip fabrication and assembly methods produce large numbers of robust optofluidic systems that can be easily assembled and disposed of, yet allow precise optical alignment and improve delivery of optical power. Using a multi-level chip fabrication process, complex channel designs with extremely vertical sidewalls, and dimensions that range from few tens of nanometers to hundreds of microns can be obtained. The technology has been used to align optical fibers in a quick and precise manner, with a lateral alignment accuracy of 2.7 ± 1.8 μm. We report the production, assembly methods, and the characterization of the resulting injection-molded chips for Lab-on-Chip (LoC) applications. We demonstrate the versatility of this technology by carrying out two types of experiments that benefit from the improved optical system: optical stretching of red blood cells (RBCs) and Raman spectroscopy of a solution loaded into a hollow core fiber. The advantages offered by the presented technology are intended to encourage the use of LoC technology for commercialization and educational purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optofluidics 2015) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Design and Algorithm Verification of a Gyroscope-Based Inertial Navigation System for Small-Diameter Spaces in Multilateral Horizontal Drilling Applications
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1946-1970; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121467
Received: 29 August 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 20 November 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2284 | PDF Full-text (12267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the recent years horizontal drilling (HD) has become increasingly important in oil and gas exploration because it can increase the production per well and can effectively rework old and marginal vertical wells. The key element of successful HD is accurate navigation of [...] Read more.
In the recent years horizontal drilling (HD) has become increasingly important in oil and gas exploration because it can increase the production per well and can effectively rework old and marginal vertical wells. The key element of successful HD is accurate navigation of the drill bit with advanced measurement-while-drilling (MWD) tools. The size of the MWD tools is not significantly restricted in vertical wells because there is enough space for their installation in traditional well drilling, but the diameter of devices for HD must be restricted to less than 30 mm for some applications, such as lateral drilling from existing horizontal wells. Therefore, it is essential to design miniature devices for lateral HD applications. Additionally, magnetometers in traditional MWD devices are easily susceptible to complex downhole interferences, and gyroscopes have been previously suggested as the best avenue to replace magnetometers for azimuth measurements. The aim of this paper is to propose a miniature gyroscope-based MWD system which is referred to as miniature gyroscope-based while drilling (MGWD) system. A prototype of such MGWD system is proposed. The device consists of a two-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer. Miniaturization design approaches for MGWD are proposed. In addition, MGWD data collection software is designed to provide real-time data display and navigation algorithm verification. A fourth-order autoregressive (AR) model is introduced for stochastic noise modeling of the gyroscope and the accelerometer data. Zero velocity and position are injected into a Kalman filter as a system reference to update system states, which can effectively improve the state observability of the MGWD system and decrease estimation errors. Nevertheless, the azimuth of the proposed MGWD system is not observable in the Kalman filter, and reliable azimuth estimation remains a problem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measuring the Quality Factor in MEMS Devices
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1935-1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121466
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1815 | PDF Full-text (2850 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper demonstrates and compares different experimental techniques utilized to estimate the quality factor (Q) and natural frequency from non-contact measurements of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) motions. The relative merits of those techniques are contrasted in Q factor estimation for a cantilever [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates and compares different experimental techniques utilized to estimate the quality factor (Q) and natural frequency from non-contact measurements of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) motions. The relative merits of those techniques are contrasted in Q factor estimation for a cantilever beam MEMS actuator, operated in three configurations: free standing, arc-shaped, and s-shaped. It is found that damping estimation techniques that seek to minimize the deviation between the response of an “assumed” linear oscillator and the measured time-history of the motions are superior to those traditional techniques, such as logarithmic decrement and half-power bandwidth. Further, it is found that Q increases three-fold as the actuator contact with the substrate evolves from a line to an area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NEMS and MEMS Packaging and Reliability)
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Open AccessArticle A Simple and Reliable PDMS and SU-8 Irreversible Bonding Method and Its Application on a Microfluidic-MEA Device for Neuroscience Research
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1923-1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121465
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 7 December 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3092 | PDF Full-text (2622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and SU-8 are currently two very commonly used polymeric materials in the microfluidics field for biological applications. However; there is a pressing need to find a simple, reliable, irreversible bonding method between these two materials for their combined use in innovative [...] Read more.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and SU-8 are currently two very commonly used polymeric materials in the microfluidics field for biological applications. However; there is a pressing need to find a simple, reliable, irreversible bonding method between these two materials for their combined use in innovative integrated microsystems. In this paper, we attempt to investigate the aminosilane-mediated irreversible bonding method for PDMS and SU-8 with X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) surface analysis and bonding strength tests. Additionally, the selected bonding method was applied in fabricating a microelectrode array (MEA) device, including microfluidic features, which allows electrophysiological observations on compartmentalized neuronal cultures. As there is a growing trend towards microfluidic devices for neuroscience research, this type of integrated microdevice, which can observe functional alterations on compartmentalized neuronal culture, can potentially be used for neurodegenerative disease research and pharmaceutical development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Microsystems)
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Open AccessArticle High Speed Pump-Probe Apparatus for Observation of Transitional Effects in Ultrafast Laser Micromachining Processes
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1914-1922; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121462
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 7 December 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2321 | PDF Full-text (3362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A pump-probe experimental approach has been shown to be a very efficient tool for the observation and analysis of various laser matter interaction effects. In those setups, synchronized laser pulses are used to create an event (pump) and to simultaneously observe it (probe). [...] Read more.
A pump-probe experimental approach has been shown to be a very efficient tool for the observation and analysis of various laser matter interaction effects. In those setups, synchronized laser pulses are used to create an event (pump) and to simultaneously observe it (probe). In general, the physical effects that can be investigated with such an apparatus are restricted by the temporal resolution of the probe pulse and the observation window. The latter can be greatly extended by adjusting the pump-probe time delay under the assumption that the interaction process remains fairly reproducible. Unfortunately, this assumption becomes invalid in the case of high-repetition-rate ultrafast laser material processing, where the irradiation history strongly affects the ongoing interaction process. In this contribution, the authors present an extension of the pump-probe setup that allows to investigate transitional and dynamic effects present during ultrafast laser machining performed at high pulse repetition frequencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Laser Micromachining and Microfabrication)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Fabrication of Hydrogel Microstructures Using UV-Induced Projection Printing
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1903-1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121464
Received: 11 October 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2876 | PDF Full-text (3924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fabrication of hydrogel microstructures has attracted considerable attention. A large number of applications, such as fabricating tissue engineering scaffolds, delivering drugs to diseased tissue, and constructing extracellular matrix for studying cell behaviors, have been introduced. In this article, an ultraviolet (UV)-curing method based [...] Read more.
Fabrication of hydrogel microstructures has attracted considerable attention. A large number of applications, such as fabricating tissue engineering scaffolds, delivering drugs to diseased tissue, and constructing extracellular matrix for studying cell behaviors, have been introduced. In this article, an ultraviolet (UV)-curing method based on a digital micromirror device (DMD) for fabricating poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogel microstructures was presented. By controlling UV projection in real-time using a DMD as digital dynamic mask instead of a physical mask, polymerization of the pre-polymer solution could be controlled to create custom-designed hydrogel microstructures. Arbitrary microstructures could also be fabricated within several seconds (<5 s) using a single-exposure, providing a much higher efficiency than existing methods, while also offering a high degree of flexibility and repeatability. Moreover, different cell chains, which can be used for straightforwardly and effectively studying the cell interaction, were formed by fabricated PEGDA microstructures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Three-Dimensional Electro-Sonic Flow Focusing Ionization Microfluidic Chip for Mass Spectrometry
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1890-1902; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121463
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2192 | PDF Full-text (4704 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Increasing research efforts have been recently devoted to the coupling of microfluidic chip-integrated ionization sources to mass spectrometry (MS). Considering the limitations of microfluidic chips coupled with MS such as liquid spreading, dead volume, and manufacturing troubles, this paper proposed a new three-dimensional [...] Read more.
Increasing research efforts have been recently devoted to the coupling of microfluidic chip-integrated ionization sources to mass spectrometry (MS). Considering the limitations of microfluidic chips coupled with MS such as liquid spreading, dead volume, and manufacturing troubles, this paper proposed a new three-dimensional (3D) flow focusing (FF)-based microfluidic ionizing source. This source was fabricated by using the two-layer soft lithography method with the nozzle placed inside the chip. The proposed FF microfluidic chip can realize two-phase FF with liquid in air regardless of the viscosity ratio of the continuous and dispersed phases. MS results indicated that the proposed FF microfluidic chip can work as a typical electrical ionization source when supplied with high voltage and can serve as a sonic ionization source without high voltage. The electro-sonic FF ionization microfluidic chip is expected to have various applications, particularly in the integrated and portable applications of ionization sources coupling with portable MS in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Devices for Chemical Analysis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle A Fast, Large-Stroke Electrothermal MEMS Mirror Based on Cu/W Bimorph
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1876-1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121460
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 19 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2659 | PDF Full-text (3615 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports a large-range electrothermal bimorph microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror with fast thermal response. The actuator of the MEMS mirror is made of three segments of Cu/W bimorphs for lateral shift cancelation and two segments of multimorph beams for obtaining large vertical [...] Read more.
This paper reports a large-range electrothermal bimorph microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror with fast thermal response. The actuator of the MEMS mirror is made of three segments of Cu/W bimorphs for lateral shift cancelation and two segments of multimorph beams for obtaining large vertical displacement from the angular motion of the bimorphs. The W layer is also used as the embedded heater. The silicon underneath the entire actuator is completely removed using a unique backside deep-reactive-ion-etching DRIE release process, leading to improved thermal response speed and front-side mirror surface protection. This MEMS mirror can perform both piston and tip-tilt motion. The mirror generates large pure vertical displacement up to 320 μm at only 3 V with a power consumption of 56 mW for each actuator. The maximum optical scan angle achieved is ±18° at 3 V. The measured thermal response time is 15.4 ms and the mechanical resonances of piston and tip-tilt modes are 550 Hz and 832 Hz, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Microsystems)
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Open AccessArticle Calibration of Nanopositioning Stages
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1856-1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121461
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 20 November 2015 / Published: 1 December 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1647 | PDF Full-text (891 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accuracy is one of the most important criteria for the performance evaluation of micro- and nanorobots or systems. Nanopositioning stages are used to achieve the high positioning resolution and accuracy for a wide and growing scope of applications. However, their positioning accuracy and [...] Read more.
Accuracy is one of the most important criteria for the performance evaluation of micro- and nanorobots or systems. Nanopositioning stages are used to achieve the high positioning resolution and accuracy for a wide and growing scope of applications. However, their positioning accuracy and repeatability are not well known and difficult to guarantee, which induces many drawbacks for many applications. For example, in the mechanical characterisation of biological samples, it is difficult to perform several cycles in a repeatable way so as not to induce negative influences on the study. It also prevents one from controlling accurately a tool with respect to a sample without adding additional sensors for closed loop control. This paper aims at quantifying the positioning repeatability and accuracy based on the ISO 9283:1998 standard, and analyzing factors influencing positioning accuracy onto a case study of 1-DoF (Degree-of-Freedom) nanopositioning stage. The influence of thermal drift is notably quantified. Performances improvement of the nanopositioning stage are then investigated through robot calibration (i.e., open-loop approach). Two models (static and adaptive models) are proposed to compensate for both geometric errors and thermal drift. Validation experiments are conducted over a long period (several days) showing that the accuracy of the stage is improved from typical micrometer range to 400 nm using the static model and even down to 100 nm using the adaptive model. In addition, we extend the 1-DoF calibration to multi-DoF with a case study of a 2-DoF nanopositioning robot. Results demonstrate that the model efficiently improved the 2D accuracy from 1400 nm to 200 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Robotics)
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Open AccessArticle An Inert Continuous Microreactor for the Isolation and Analysis of a Single Microbial Cell
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1836-1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121459
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2045 | PDF Full-text (5931 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studying biological phenomena of individual cells is enabled by matching the scales of microbes and cultivation devices. We present a versatile, chemically inert microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) device for biological and chemical analyses of isolated microorganisms. It is based on the Envirostat concept and [...] Read more.
Studying biological phenomena of individual cells is enabled by matching the scales of microbes and cultivation devices. We present a versatile, chemically inert microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) device for biological and chemical analyses of isolated microorganisms. It is based on the Envirostat concept and guarantees constant environmental conditions. A new manufacturing process for direct fusion bonding chips with functional microelectrodes for selective and gentle cell manipulation via negative dielectrophoresis (nDEP) was generated. The resulting LOC system offered a defined surface chemistry and exceptional operational stability, maintaining its structural integrity even after harsh chemical treatment. The microelectrode structures remained fully functional after thermal bonding and were proven to be efficient for single-cell trapping via nDEP. The microfluidic network consisted solely of glass, which led to enhanced chip reusability and minimized interaction of the material with chemical and biological compounds. We validated the LOC for single-cell studies with the amino acid secreting bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum. Intracellular l-lysine production dynamics of individual bacteria were monitored based on a genetically encoded fluorescent nanosensor. The results demonstrate the applicability of the presented LOC for pioneering chemical and biological studies, where robustness and chemically inert surfaces are crucial parameters for approaching fundamental biological questions at a single-cell level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Microfluidic Devices for Cell Handling and Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Generation of Oil Droplets in a Non-Newtonian Liquid Using a Microfluidic T-Junction
Micromachines 2015, 6(12), 1825-1835; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi6121458
Received: 28 September 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 23 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2586 | PDF Full-text (1938 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have compared the formation of oil drops in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids in a T-junction microfluidic device. As Newtonian fluids, we used aqueous solutions of glycerol, while as non-Newtonian fluids we prepared aqueous solutions of xanthan, a stiff rod-like polysaccharide, which exhibit [...] Read more.
We have compared the formation of oil drops in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids in a T-junction microfluidic device. As Newtonian fluids, we used aqueous solutions of glycerol, while as non-Newtonian fluids we prepared aqueous solutions of xanthan, a stiff rod-like polysaccharide, which exhibit strong shear-thinning effects. In the squeezing regime, the formation of oil droplets in glycerol solutions is found to scale with the ratio of the dispersed flow rate to the continuous one and with the capillary number associated to the continuous phase. Switching to xanthan solutions does not seem to significantly alter the droplet formation process. Any quantitative difference with respect to the Newtonian liquid can be accounted for by a suitable choice of the capillary number, corresponding to an effective xanthan viscosity that depends on the flow rates. We have deduced ample variations in the viscosity, on the order of 10 and more, during normal operation conditions of the T-junction. This allowed estimating the actual shear rates experienced by the xanthan solutions, which go from tens to hundreds of s−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Droplet Microfluidics: Techniques and Technologies)
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