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Enhanced inertial focusing of microparticles and cells by integrating trapezoidal microchambers in spiral microfluidic channels

Al-Halhouli, Ala'aldeen ORCID; Albagdady, Ahmed ORCID; Al-Faqheri, Wisam; Kottmeier, Jonathan; Meinen, Sven ORCID; Frey, Lasse Jannis GND; Krull, Rainer GND; Dietzel, Andreas ORCID

In this work, manipulating width and equilibrium position of fluorescent microparticles in spiral microchannel fractionation devices by embedding microchambers along the last turn of a spiral is reported. Microchambers with different shapes and sizes were tested at Reynolds numbers between 15.7 and 156.6 (100–1000 μL min−1) to observe focusing of 2, 5 and 10 μm fluorescent microparticles. This paper also discusses the fabrication process of the microfluidic chips with femtosecond laser ablation on glass wafers, as well as a particle imaging velocimetry (μPIV) study of microparticle trajectories inside a microchamber. It could be demonstrated with an improved final design with inclined microchamber side walls, that the 2 μm particle equilibrium position is shifted towards the inner wall by ∼27 μm and the focusing line's width is reduced by ∼18 μm. Finally, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells were tested in the final chip and a cell focusing efficiency of 99.1% is achieved.

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Al-Halhouli, A., Albagdady, A., Al-Faqheri, W., Kottmeier, J., Meinen, S., Frey, L.J., Krull, R., Dietzel, A., 2019. Enhanced inertial focusing of microparticles and cells by integrating trapezoidal microchambers in spiral microfluidic channels. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9ra03587g
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