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    uFlow: software for rational engineering of secondary flows in inertial microfluidic devices

    Article obtained from Springer RSS Feed.


    Approaches to abstract and modularize models of fluid flow in microfluidic devices can enable predictive and rational engineering of microfluidic circuits with rapid designer feedback. The shape of co-flowing streams in the inertial flow regime has become of particular importance for new developments in high throughput microscale manufacturing, biological, and chemical research. In a process known as flow sculpting, the cross-sectional distribution of fluid elements is deformed due to the combined effects of diffusion and transverse advection, which are brought on by interaction with velocity gradients induced by sequences of pillar structures. However, the difficulty in solving the Navier–Stokes equations for complex flow-deforming geometries makes design in this space unintuitive, time-consuming, and costly. To mitigate these issues, we have efficiently embedded flow deformation operations previously relegated to high-performance computing into a free, user-friendly, and cross-platform framework called “uFlow”, to bring flow sculpting to the broader community. uFlow computes flow deformation including both advection and diffusion effects from a single pillar in 25 ms on modern consumer hardware, enabling real-time manual design and exploration of microfluidic devices, and fast visualization of 3D particles fabricated via stop flow lithography or optical transient liquid molding. Advanced numerical routines give instant access to a practically infinite set of flow transformations. We showcase uFlow’s design models, describe their implementation and usage, and validate the algorithms which allow real-time feedback with confocal imaging and cutting-edge microfluidic particle fabrication.

    Jun, 25 2018 |

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