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Microfluidics Blog Posts

Simulating Analog-to-Digital Microdroplet Dispensers for LOCs

May 11, 2015

Microfluidic biochips have a variety of applications and are valued for their low cost, fast response time, and high efficiency. In the paper “Design and Simulation of High-Throughput Microfluidic Droplet Dispenser for Lab-on-a-Chip Applications”, which was presented at the COMSOL Conference 2014 Boston, researchers designed a microfluidic biochip with an analog-to-digital converter. They used COMSOL Multiphysics software to understand the mechanism of the device and verify its function.

Tears of Wine and the Marangoni Effect

March 24, 2015

Try pouring some wine into a glass. Don’t drink it yet — this is a scientific experiment. When you hold up your glass, you’ll see what look like teardrops running down the sides. These tears of wine are caused by the Marangoni effect, which describes a mass transfer along the surface of two fluid phases caused by surface tension gradients along the interface between the two phases (for example liquid and vapor).

Which Multiphase Flow Interface Should I Use?

January 27, 2015

If you are interested in using COMSOL Multiphysics software to solve multiphase flow problems, you may be wondering which multiphase flow interface to choose. This is your guide to the six interface options available to you and when you should use them.

Dielectrophoretic Separation

January 23, 2015

How can you use an electric field to control the movement of electrically neutral particles? This may sound impossible, but in this blog entry, we will see that the phenomenon of dielectrophoresis (DEP) can do the trick. We will learn how DEP can be applied to particle separation and demonstrate a very easy-to-use biomedical simulation app that is created with the Application Builder and run with COMSOL Server™.

Tesla Microvalve Model as a Topological Optimization Example

July 23, 2014

Topological optimization is routinely used in the design and refinement of microfluidics devices. The process also comes in handy for modeling a Tesla microvalve.

Buoyancy-Driven μPCR for DNA Amplification

February 26, 2014

DNA is a complex molecule that contains instructions for life and often referred to as a “digital fingerprint” or code telling a cell what to do. DNA is often the only means for accurate testing and identification of biomolecules, cells, or even an entire person during forensic investigations. The need to be able to test for DNA, as quickly as possible, and even at the site where the sample is taken, is becoming more and more important.

Red Blood Cell Separation from a Flow Channel

January 3, 2014

Before conducting certain blood sample analyses, researchers need to separate the red blood cell particles from the blood plasma. Using lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology, red blood cell separation can be achieved via magnetophoresis (i.e., motion induced by magnetic fields). Since the magnetic permeability of the particles is different from the blood plasma, their trajectory can be controlled within the flow channel of the LOC device and then separated out from the fluid.

Thermometer Calibration: When Experimentation Falls Short

November 13, 2013

The International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90) is the industry calibration standard for measuring temperatures throughout the world. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) works to establish and maintain the ITS-90 through experiments, most notably, thermometer calibration. To better understand and overcome the shortcomings of the experimental process, Jonathan Pearce, at the UK’s National Physics Laboratory, turned to simulation. His results yielded fascinating results about the microscopic behavior of the liquid-solid interface during the freezing process.


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