Nearly a hundred per million of the Filipino population is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The early stage of CKD has no symptoms and can only be discovered once the patient undergoes urinalysis. Over the years, different methods were discovered and used for the quantification of the urinary albumin such as the immunochemical assays where most of these methods require large machinery that has a high cost in maintenance and resources, and a dipstick test which is yet to be proven and is still debated as a reliable method in detecting early stages of microalbuminuria. This research study involves the use of the liquid chromatography concept in microfluidic instruments with biosensor as a means of separation and detection respectively, and linear regression to quantify human urinary albumin. The researchers’ main objective was to create a miniature system that quantifies and detect patients’ urinary albumin while reducing the amount of volume used per five test samples. For this study, 30 urine samples of unknown albumin concentrations were tested using VITROS Analyzer and the microfluidic system for comparison. Based on the data shared by both methods, the actual vs. predicted regression were able to create a positive linear relationship with an R2 of 0.9995 and a linear equation of y = 1.09x + 0.07, indicating that the predicted values and actual values are approximately equal. Furthermore, the microfluidic instrument uses 75% less in total volume – sample and reagents combined, compared to the VITROS Analyzer per five test samples.
A modified steady-state numerical model is developed for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formic acid. The numerical model achieves a CD (current density) (~60 mA/cm2), FE-faradaic efficiency (~98%) and conversion (~80%) for CO2 electro-reduction to formic acid in a microfluidic cell. The model integrates charge and species transport, mass conservation, and momentum with electrochemistry. Specifically, the influences of Bi-Sn based nanoparticle catalyst (on the cathode surface) at different mole fractions and 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium tetra-fluoroborate ([EMIM][BF4]) electrolyte, on CD, FE and CO2 conversion to formic acid is studied. The reaction is carried out at a constant concentration of electrolyte (85% v/v., [EMIM][BF4]). Based on the mass transfer characteristics analysis (concentration contours), mole ratio 0.5:0.5 Bi-Sn catalyst displays the highest CO2 mole consumption in the cathode gas channel. After validating with experimental data (polarisation curves) from literature, extensive simulations reveal performance measure: CD, FE and CO2 conversion. Increasing the negative cathode potential increases the current densities for both formic acid and H2 formations. However, H2 formations are minimal as a result of insufficient hydrogen ions in the ionic liquid electrolyte. Moreover, the limited hydrogen ions have a negative effect on formic acid CD. As CO2 flow rate increases, CD, FE and CO2 conversion increases.
Micro-mixers play an important role in the lab-on-a-chip applications and micro total analysis systems to acquire the correct level of mixing for any given process. The mixing process can be classified as active or passive according to the use of external energy. Literature of microfluidics reports that most of the work is done on the models of steady laminar flow; however, the study of unsteady laminar flow is an active area of research at present. There are wide applications of this, out of which, we consider nanoparticle synthesis in micro-mixers. In this work, we have developed a model for unsteady flow to study the mixing performance of a passive micro mixer for reactants used for such synthesis. The model is developed in Finite Volume Method (FVM)-based software, OpenFOAM. The model is tested by carrying out the simulations at Re of 0.5. Mixing performance of the micro-mixer is investigated using simulated concentration values of mixed species across the width of the micro-mixer and calculating the variance across a line profile. Experimental validation is done by passing dyes through a Y shape micro-mixer fabricated using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer and comparing variances with the simulated ones. Gold nanoparticles are later synthesized through the micro-mixer and collected at two different times leading to significantly different size distributions. These times match with the time scales over which reactant concentrations vary as obtained from simulations. Our simulations could thus be used to create design aids for passive micro-mixers used in nanoparticle synthesis.
A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.
This paper sets to demonstrate a modeling of electrokinetic mixing employing electroosmotic stationary and time-dependent microchannel using alternate zeta patches on the lower surface of the micromixer in a lab on chip microfluidic device. Electroosmotic flow is amplified using different 2D and 3D model designs with alternate and geometric zeta potential values such as 25, 50, and 100 mV, respectively, to achieve high concentration mixing in the electrokinetically-driven microfluidic system. The enhancement of electrokinetic mixing is studied using Finite Element Modeling, and simulation workflow is accomplished with defined integral steps. It can be observed that the presence of alternate zeta patches can help inducing microvortex flows inside the channel, which in turn can improve mixing efficiency. Fluid flow and concentration fields are simulated by solving Navier-Stokes equation (implying Helmholtz-Smoluchowski slip velocity boundary condition) and Convection-Diffusion equation. The effect of the magnitude of zeta potential, the number of alternate zeta patches, etc. are analysed thoroughly. 2D simulation reveals that there is a cumulative increase in concentration mixing, whereas 3D simulation differs slightly with low zeta potential as that of the 2D model within the T-shaped micromixer for concentration 1 mol/m3 and 0 mol/m3, respectively. Moreover, 2D model results were compared with those of 3D to indicate the importance of the 3D model in a microfluidic design process.
Red Blood Cells (RBCs) or erythrocytes tend to form chain-like aggregates under low shear rate called rouleaux. This is a reversible process and rouleaux disaggregate in high shear rates. Therefore, RBCs aggregation occurs in the microcirculation where low shear rates are present but does not occur under normal physiological conditions in large arteries. Numerical modeling of RBCs interactions is fundamental in analytical models of a blood flow in microcirculation. Population Balance Modeling (PBM) is particularly useful for studying problems where particles agglomerate and break in a two phase flow systems to find flow characteristics. In this method, the elementary particles lose their individual identity due to continuous destructions and recreations by break-up and agglomeration. The aim of this study is to find RBCs aggregation in a dynamic situation. Simplified PBM was used previously to find the aggregation rate on a static observation of the RBCs aggregation in a drop of blood under the microscope. To find aggregation rate in a dynamic situation we propose an experimental set up testing RBCs sedimentation. In this test, RBCs interact and aggregate to form rouleaux. In this configuration, disaggregation can be neglected due to low shear stress. A high-speed camera is used to acquire video-microscopic pictures of the process. The sizes of the aggregates and velocity of sedimentation are extracted using an image processing techniques. Based on the data collection from 5 healthy human blood samples, the aggregation rate was estimated as 2.7x103(±0.3 x103) 1/s.
A numerical model has been developed to investigate the thermally triggered release kinetics for drug delivery using phase change material as shell of microcapsules. Biocompatible material n-Eicosane is used as demonstration. PCM shell of microcapsule will remain in solid form after the drug is taken, so the drug will be encapsulated by the shell, and will not be released until the target body part of lesion is exposed to external heat source, which will thermally trigger the release kinetics, leading to solid-to-liquid phase change. The findings can lead to better understanding on the key effects influencing the phase change process for drug delivery applications. The facile approach to release drug from core/shell structure of microcapsule can be well integrated with organic solvent free fabrication of microcapsules, using double emulsion as template in microfluidic aqueous two phase system.
This paper deals with the theoretical and numerical investigation of magneto hydrodynamic boundary layer flow of a nanofluid past a wedge shaped wick in heat pipe used for the cooling of electronic components and different type of machines. To incorporate the effect of nanoparticle diameter, concentration of nanoparticles in the pure fluid, nanothermal layer formed around the nanoparticle and Brownian motion of nanoparticles etc., appropriate models are used for the effective thermal and physical properties of nanofluids. To model the rotation of nanoparticles inside the base fluid, microfluidics theory is used. In this investigation ethylene glycol (EG) based nanofluids, are taken into account. The non-linear equations governing the flow and heat transfer are solved by using a very effective particle swarm optimization technique along with Runge-Kutta method. The values of heat transfer coefficient are found for different parameters involved in the formulation viz. nanoparticle concentration, nanoparticle size, magnetic field and wedge angle etc. It is found that, the wedge angle, presence of magnetic field, nanoparticle size and nanoparticle concentration etc. have prominent effects on fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics for the considered configuration.
To mimic the natural circumstances of cell growth in an organism, we present three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds fabricated by microfluidics for cultivation. This work investigates the cellular behaviors of rat cardiomyocytes in gelatin 3D scaffolds compared to those on 2D control, such as proliferation, viability and morphology. We found that the scaffolds may induce skeletal differentiation of H9c2 cells.
This paper presents a study on the effect of second-order slip on forced convection through a long isoflux heated or cooled planar microchannel. The fully developed solutions of flow and thermal fields are analytically obtained on the basis of the second-order Maxwell-Burnett slip and local heat flux boundary conditions. Results reveal that when the average flow velocity increases or the wall heat flux amount decreases, the role of thermal creep becomes more insignificant, while the effect of second-order slip becomes larger. The second-order term in the Deissler slip boundary condition is found to contribute a positive velocity slip and then to lead to a lower pressure drop as well as a lower temperature rise for the heated-wall case or to a higher temperature rise for the cooled-wall case. These findings are contrary to predictions made by the Karniadakis slip model.
In this work, we examine fluid mixing in a full three-stream mixing channel with longitudinal vortex generators (LVGs) built on the channel bottom by numerical simulation and experiment. The effects of the asymmetrical arrangement and the attack angle of the LVGs on fluid mixing are investigated. The results show that the micromixer with LVGs at a small asymmetry index (defined by the ratio of the distance from the center plane of the gap between the winglets to the center plane of the main channel to the width of the main channel) is superior to the micromixer with symmetric LVGs and that with LVGs at a large asymmetry index. The micromixer using five mixing modules of the LVGs with an attack angle between 16.5 degrees and 22.5 degrees can achieve excellent mixing over a wide range of Reynolds numbers. Here, we call a section of channel with two pairs of staggered asymmetrical LVGs a mixing module. Besides, the micromixer with LVGs at a small attack angle is more efficient than that with a larger attack angle when pressure losses are taken into account.
Equipment miniaturisation offers several opportunities such as an increased surface-to-volume ratio and higher heat transfer coefficients. However, moving towards small-diameter channels demands extra attention to fouling, reliability and stable operation of the system. The present investigation explores possibilities to enhance the stability of the once-through micro evaporator by reducing its flow boiling induced pressure fluctuations. Experimental comparison shows that the measured reduction factor approaches a theoretically derived value. Pressure fluctuations are reduced by a factor of ten in the solid conical channel and a factor of 15 in the porous conical channel. This presumably leads to less backflow and therefore to a better flow control.
In this work, we perform numerical simulation of fluid mixing in a floor-grooved micro-channel with wavy sidewalls which may impose perturbation on the helical flow induced by the slanted grooves on the channel floor. The perturbation is caused by separation vortices in the recesses of the wavy-walled channel as the Reynolds number is large enough. The results show that the effects of the wavy sidewalls of the present micromixer on the enhancement of fluid mixing increase with the increase of Reynolds number. The degree of mixing increases with the increase of the corrugation angle, until the angle is greater than 45 degrees. Besides, the pumping pressure of the micromixer increases with the increase of the corrugation angle monotonically. Therefore, we would suggest setting the corrugation angle of the wavy sidewalls to be 45 degrees.