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Micromachines 2016, 7(8), 139;

A Reconfigurable Microfluidics Platform for Microparticle Separation and Fluid Mixing

Samsung Electronics, 4 Seocho-daero 74-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul 06620, Korea
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 17104, Korea
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), 50 UNIST-gil, Ulsan 44919, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Weihua Li, Hengdong Xi and Say Hwa Tan
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights and Advancements in Microfluidics)
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Microfluidics is an engineering tool used to control and manipulate fluid flows, with practical applications for lab-on-a-chip, point-of-care testing, and biological/medical research. However, microfluidic platforms typically lack the ability to create a fluidic duct, having an arbitrary flow path, and to change the path as needed without additional design and fabrication processes. To address this challenge, we present a simple yet effective approach for facile, on-demand reconfiguration of microfluidic channels using flexible polymer tubing. The tubing provides both a well-defined, cross-sectional geometry to allow reliable fluidic operation and excellent flexibility to achieve a high degree of freedom for reconfiguration of flow pathways. We demonstrate that microparticle separation and fluid mixing can be successfully implemented by reconfiguring the shape of the tubing. The tubing is coiled around a 3D-printed barrel to make a spiral microchannel with a constant curvature for inertial separation of microparticles. Multiple knots are also made in the tubing to create a highly tortuous flow path, which induces transverse secondary flows, Dean flows, and, thus, enhances the mixing of fluids. The reconfigurable microfluidics approach, with advantages including low-cost, simplicity, and ease of use, can serve as a promising complement to conventional microfabrication methods, which require complex fabrication processes with expensive equipment and lack a degree of freedom for reconfiguration. View Full-Text
Keywords: reconfigurable microfluidics; inertial microfluidics; microparticle separation; fluid mixing reconfigurable microfluidics; inertial microfluidics; microparticle separation; fluid mixing

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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Hahn, Y.K.; Hong, D.; Kang, J.H.; Choi, S. A Reconfigurable Microfluidics Platform for Microparticle Separation and Fluid Mixing. Micromachines 2016, 7, 139.

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