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Biomicrofluidics. 2016 Apr 12;10(2):024120. doi: 10.1063/1.4946012. eCollection 2016 Mar.

Investigation of particle inertial migration in high particle concentration suspension flow by multi-electrodes sensing and Eulerian-Lagrangian simulation in a square microchannel.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University , Chiba 263-0022, Japan.
Faculty of Mechanical and Precision Instrument Engineering, Xi'an University of Technology , Xi'an 710048, China.


The inertial migration of neutrally buoyant spherical particles in high particle concentration (αpi  > 3%) suspension flow in a square microchannel was investigated by means of the multi-electrodes sensing method which broke through the limitation of conventional optical measurement techniques in the high particle concentration suspensions due to interference from the large particle numbers. Based on the measured particle concentrations near the wall and at the corner of the square microchannel, particle cross-sectional migration ratios are calculated to quantitatively estimate the migration degree. As a result, particle migration to four stable equilibrium positions near the centre of each face of the square microchannel is found only in the cases of low initial particle concentration up to 5.0 v/v%, while the migration phenomenon becomes partial as the initial particle concentration achieves 10.0 v/v% and disappears in the cases of the initial particle concentration αpi  ≥ 15%. In order to clarify the influential mechanism of particle-particle interaction on particle migration, an Eulerian-Lagrangian numerical model was proposed by employing the Lennard-Jones potential as the inter-particle potential, while the inertial lift coefficient is calculated by a pre-processed semi-analytical simulation. Moreover, based on the experimental and simulation results, a dimensionless number named migration index was proposed to evaluate the influence of the initial particle concentration on the particle migration phenomenon. The migration index less than 0.1 is found to denote obvious particle inertial migration, while a larger migration index denotes the absence of it. This index is helpful for estimation of the maximum initial particle concentration for the design of inertial microfluidic devices.

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