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Lab Chip. 2011 Jan 21;11(2):354-7. doi: 10.1039/c0lc00225a. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Enhancement by optical force of separation in pinched flow fractionation.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST, 373-1 Guseong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Korea.


A method for improving the size-based particle separation technique known as pinched flow fractionation (PFF) has been demonstrated experimentally and analyzed by performing numerical calculations. Since the particles in the pinched region are pushed by an optical scattering force, the original particle position with respect to the wall is modulated. This position modulation in the pinched region is amplified in the broadened region along the streamline. This enhancement of separation is achieved by imposing an optical force on the original PFF design. Three different polystyrene latexes (PSLs) with diameters of 2, 5, and 10 μm were separated with PFF and optically enhanced PFF (OEPFF) devices. The separations achieved with the two devices were compared and enhancements in the separation distance by factors of up to approximately 15 were achieved. Theoretical calculations were also performed to interpret these results.

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