Flow-focusing device (micro-fluid)

MicrofluidA device of the type "lab-on-a-chip" contains fluids that need to be controlled accurately at micro-scale. A flow-focusing device solves the task of separating one of the phases ("the red phase") in a two-phase flow into regular portions, without mechanical interaction. This is achieved at a cross section of two channels, where the second phase ("the blue phase") is injected from two sides in a lateral direction, squeezing the red fluid and forcing the creation of regular portions.

 

Regime: dropping (non-wetting)

The mechanism of a flow-focusing device is illustrated in the following example, in which the red fluid has a non-wetting interaction with the wall:

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Regime: dropping (wetting)

The separation of th red fluid is even simpler if the interaction with the wall is wetting:

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Regime: threading

If the lateral flow of the blue fluid is too strong, the red fluid does not separate, and instead forms a constant thread:

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Regime: wall attachement

Similarly, the mechanism of the flow-focusing device fails if the flow of blue fluid is too weak:

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