Chapter

Pressure‐Driven Microfluidics

Scott Miserendino and Yu‐Chong Tai

in Micro/Nano Technology Systems for Biomedical Applications

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199219698
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594229 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219698.003.0004
Pressure‐Driven Microfluidics

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Pressure-force-driven microfluidics is the foundation for volumetric scaling into the micro regime and, hence, for unique functionalities unachievable by macro-sized devices. The physics that govern the operation of pressure force driven microfluidics are just a subset of principles governing macro scale fluidics, and low Reynolds number fluid mechanics is essential for the design and operation of pressure force driven microfluidic devices. This is because microfluidics almost exclusively only deals with slow velocity and small sizes. This chapter first provides a brief introduction to the necessary microfluidics basics required for understanding pressure force driven microfluidics, primarily focusing on laminar, viscous flow and the importance of force scaling relative to device size. Device examples start with pressure-driven flows in straight microchannels, the simplest but most important geometry. Various other devices then follow, including passive and active valves, mixers, on-chip pressure sources, flow sensors and device packaging. Finally, the chapter ends with some current and future applications for pressure-force-driven microfluidics and the remaining challenges facing microfluidics designers.

Keywords: microfluidics; low Reynolds number; laminar flow; valves; mixers; flow sensors

Chapter.  28437 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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