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Title: Microfluidics for particle manipulation : new simulation techniques for novel devices and applications
Author: Wang, Chao
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 4011
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis focuses on fundamental aspects of microfluidic systems and applies relevant findings to innovative designs for advanced particle manipulation applications. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is adopted for fluid modeling, based on the Finite Volume method. The accuracy of the solutions obtained is confirmed by grid sensitivity analysis and by comparisons with experimental work. Curved microchannel features and the induced Dean flow are studied through a parametric space exploration and simulations. The Lagrange-Euler coupling method – Surface Marker Point methodology – is applied to simulate large-size particles (of comparable size to the channel). Through this simulation approach, all the forces on such particles are directly derived through solving the governing equations and the influence of these particles on the flow is considered in a fully coupled manner. A new approach – the Frozen Flow & Flow Correction Coefficient method – is developed, making trans-relaxation-time simulations possible and improving computational efficiency significantly, for 3D simulations of arbitrary shape and size microparticles in complicated microfluidic channels. Detailed comparisons between simulation results and experiments involving particle sedimentation and particle equilibrium position have been conducted for methodology validation. Mechanisms of hydrodynamic particle manipulation are then studied, including hydrodynamic focusing and separation. It is found that the Tubular Pinch effect, Dean flow and the Radial Pressure Gradient effect interact to yield two distinct particle separation mechanisms. For advanced applications, particle focusing, non-magnetic and magnetic separation for neutrally buoyant particles are proposed, based on newly gained insight on the above-mentioned mechanisms. Appropriate channel designs have been proposed both for particle focusing and size-based particle separation, while the vertical-magnetic-Dean separation scheme is highlighted for magnetic separation. Finally, a new integrated system is proposed, that combines the above novel designs into a device-like ensemble. It promises to offer functionality for biomaterial separation and detection, including different types of cells, antigens and biomarkers.
Supervisor: Ventikos, Yiannis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biomedical engineering ; Engineering & allied sciences ; microfluidics ; two-phase flow ; surface marker point ; particle separation ; Dean flow ; magnetic separation ; diagnostic device