Characterization of Mixing Performance Induced by Double Curved Passive Mixing Structures in Microfluidic Channels
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionMicromachines. 2021, 12 (5), . 10.3390/mi12050556
Functionalized sensor surfaces combined with microfluidic channels are becoming increasingly important in realizing efficient biosensing devices applicable to small sample volumes. Relaxing the limitations imposed by laminar flow of the microfluidic channels by passive mixing structures to enhance analyte mass transfer to the sensing area will further improve the performance of these devices. In this paper, we characterize the flow performance in a group of microfluidic flow channels with novel double curved passive mixing structures (DCMS) fabricated in the ceiling. The experimental strategy includes confocal imaging to monitor the stationary flow patterns downstream from the inlet where a fluorophore is included in one of the inlets in a Y-channel microfluidic device. Analyses of the fluorescence pattern projected both along the channel and transverse to the flow direction monitored details in the developing homogenization. The mixing index (MI) as a function of the channel length was found to be well accounted for by a double-exponential equilibration process, where the different parameters of the DCMS were found to affect the extent and length of the initial mixing component. The range of MI for a 1 cm channel length for the DCMS was 0.75–0.98, which is a range of MI comparable to micromixers with herringbone structures. Overall, this indicates that the DCMS is a high performing passive micromixer, but the sensitivity to geometric parameter values calls for the selection of certain values for the most efficient mixing.