Passive and non-mechanical pumping in microfluidic devices

  • Author / Creator
    Waghmare, Prashant Rakhmaji
  • Last couple of decades have witnessed massive upsurge in efforts of transporting and manipulating solutes and moieties in microfluidic devices. Classical pressure-driven transport demands massive pumping power for microchannels making it unusable in several microfluidic applications. Accordingly, there have been a plethora of endeavors to devise novel non-mechanical fluid driving techniques in microchannels, e.g., transport by applying electrostatic, magnetic, or acoustic forces. However, these mechanisms often necessitate special fluid properties, and cumbersome fabrication requirements. Hence, there has been a tremendous drive to develop passive pumping mechanisms that successfully exploit the inherent geometric and physical characteristics of the microchannel and the fluid, yet are free from the above constraints. Several aspects of one of the foremost microfluidic passive pumping mechanisms, namely capillary-driven transport, have been presented here. Firstly, the effect of a transient velocity profile on a classical capillary filling problem has been investigated. All the existing analyses invariably consider a fully-developed velocity profile and accordingly, the proposed model could reveal several yet unaddressed non-trivial mechanisms inherent in a capillary filling problem. Secondly, an appropriate analytical model has been developed to describe the pressure-field at the entrance of the capillary. This pressure-field improves on the existing expressions in the sense that it is applicable to capillaries of all possible aspect ratios, and manifests its influence by predicting a capillary filling length that is different from that hypothesized by the existing models. Thirdly, important correlations interrelating the wetting and other physical properties of popular biomicrofluidic solvents such as BSA (Bovine Serum Albumin) solution or microbead suspension have been derived from thoroughly performed experimental studies. These correlations are next employed to study the capillary dynamics of these two liquids as a function of its physical properties. Finally, effects of additional body forces, such as gravity or electrostatics, in affecting a capillary transport have been investigated.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Mitra, Sushanta (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mitra, Sushanta (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Parameswaran, Meenakshinathan (School of Engineeing Science, Somon Fraser University)
    • Secanell, Marc (Mecahnical Engineering)
    • Bhattacharjee, Subir (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Yeung, Anthony (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • Thundat, Thomos (Chemical and Materials Engineering)