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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2004 May 15;362(1818):1019-36.

Designing for chaos: applications of chaotic advection at the microscale.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, VU Station B 351592, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-1592, USA.


Chaotic advection can play an important role in efficient microfluidic mixers. We discuss a design paradigm that exploits chaotic advection and illustrate by two recent examples, namely enhancing gene expression profiling and constructing an in-line microfluidic mixing channel, how application of this paradigm has led to successful micromixers. We suggest that 'designing for chaos', that is, basing practical mixer design on chaotic advection analysis, is a promising approach to adopt in this developing field which otherwise has little to guide it and is constrained by issues of scale and manufacturability.

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