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Lab Chip. 2009 Nov 7;9(21):3038-46. doi: 10.1039/b912547g. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Inertial microfluidics.

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Department of Bioengineering and California NanoSystems Institute, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Despite the common wisdom that inertia does not contribute to microfluidic phenomena, recent work has shown a variety of useful effects that depend on fluid inertia for applications in enhanced mixing, particle separation, and bioparticle focusing. Due to the robust, fault-tolerant physical effects employed and high rates of operation, inertial microfluidic systems are poised to have a critical impact on high-throughput separation applications in environmental cleanup and physiological fluids processing, as well as bioparticle focusing applications in clinical diagnostics. In this review I will discuss the recent accelerated progress in developing prototype inertial microfluidic systems for a variety of applications and attempt to clarify the fundamental fluid dynamic effects that are being exploited. Finally, since this a nascent area of research, I will suggest some future promising directions exploiting fluid inertia on the microscale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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