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Numerical study of acoustophoretic manipulation of particles in microfluidic channels

Ma, Jun, Liang, Dongfang, Yang, Xin ORCID:, Wang, Hanlin, Wu, Fangda, Sun, Chao and Xiao, Yang 2021. Numerical study of acoustophoretic manipulation of particles in microfluidic channels. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 235 (10) , pp. 1163-1174. 10.1177/09544119211024775

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The microfluidic technology based on surface acoustic waves (SAW) has been developing rapidly, as it can precisely manipulate fluid flow and particle motion at microscales. We hereby present a numerical study of the transient motion of suspended particles in a microchannel. In conventional studies, only the microchannel’s bottom surface generates SAW and only the final positions of the particles are analyzed. In our study, the microchannel is sandwiched by two identical SAW transducers at both the bottom and top surfaces while the channel’s sidewalls are made of poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Based on the perturbation theory, the suspended particles are subject to two types of forces, namely the Acoustic Radiation Force (ARF) and the Stokes Drag Force (SDF), which correspond to the first-order acoustic field and the second-order streaming field, respectively. We use the Finite Element Method (FEM) to compute the fluid responses and particle trajectories. Our numerical model is shown to be accurate by verifying against previous experimental and numerical results. We have determined the threshold particle size that divides the SDF-dominated regime and the ARF-dominated regime. By examining the time scale of the particle movement, we provide guidelines on the device design and operation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0954-4119
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 24 May 2021
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 02:53

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