Zdjęcie: Between giant oscillations and uniform distribution of droplets: The role of varying lumen of channels in microfluidic networks

Between giant oscillations and uniform distribution of droplets: The role of varying lumen of channels in microfluidic networks

The simplest microfluidic network (a loop) comprises two parallel channels with a common inlet and a common outlet. Recent studies that assumed a constant cross section of the channels along their length have shown that the sequence of droplets entering the left (L) or right (R) arm of the loop can present either a uniform distribution of choices (e.g.,RLRLRL) or long sequences of repeated choices (RRR⋯LLL), with all the intermediate permutations being dynamically equivalent and virtually equally probable to be observed. We use experiments and computer simulations to show that even small variation of the cross section along channels completely shifts the dynamics either into the strong preference for highly grouped patterns (RRR⋯LLL) that generate system-size oscillations in flow or just the opposite—to patterns that distribute the droplets homogeneously between the arms of the loop. We also show the importance of noise in the process of self-organization of the spatiotemporal patterns of droplets. Our results provide guidelines for rational design of systems that reproducibly produce either grouped or homogeneous sequences of droplets flowing in microfluidic networks.

  • Autor: O. Cybulski, S. Jakiela, P. Garstecki
  • Rok: 2015
  • Źródło: Phys. Rev. E, 92, 063008
  • Plik: pobierz

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