Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Microfluid Nanofluidics. 2012 Sep;13(2):227-237.

Visualization and measurement of capillary-driven blood flow using spectral domain optical coherence tomography.

Author information

  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain; Department of Chemical Engineering, University Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain.


Capillary-driven flow (CD-flow) in microchannels plays an important role in many microfluidic devices. These devices, the most popular being those based in lateral flow, are becoming increasingly used in health care and diagnostic applications. CD-flow can passively pump biological fluids as blood, serum or plasma, in microchannels and it can enhance the wall mass transfer by exploiting the convective effects of the flow behind the meniscus. The flow behind the meniscus has not been experimentally identified up to now because of the lack of high-resolution, non-invasive, cross-sectional imaging means. In this study, spectral-domain Doppler optical coherence tomography is used to visualize and measure the flow behind the meniscus in CD-flows of water and blood. Microchannels of polydimethylsiloxane and glass with different cross-sections are considered. The predictions of the flow behind the meniscus of numerical simulations using the power-law model for non-Newtonian fluids are in reasonable agreement with the measurements using blood as working fluid. The extension of the Lucas-Washburn equation to non-Newtonian power-law fluids predicts well the velocity of the meniscus of the experiments using blood.


Blood flow; Capillary-driven flow; Microchannel; Non-Newtonian fluid; Optical coherence tomography

Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (11)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk