Electrically initiated upstream coalescence cascade of droplets in a microfluidic flow

Zagnoni, M., Baroud, C.N. and Cooper, J.M. (2009) Electrically initiated upstream coalescence cascade of droplets in a microfluidic flow. Physical Review E, 80(4), 046303. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.80.046303) (PMID:19905432)

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Two phase microfluidic systems creating size-controlled microdroplets have recently emerged as powerful tools to achieve liquid compartmentalization for high throughput chemical and biological assays. Emulsion electrocoalescence is a destabilization process that can be used in droplet-based platforms for water phase separation to enable lab-on-a-chip applications in biotechnology, including particle or cell recovery. In this paper, we report upon a series of phenomena associated with electrocoalescence of water microdroplet-in-oil populations in microfluidics. In our experiments, we formed microdroplets whose size and dispersion in the channel were varied according to the ratio of the flow rates of the two phases. Different types of electrocoalescence between droplets were obtained. For low applied voltages, drops merged in pairs over the electrode region; for higher values of the applied voltage, a cascade of droplet coalescence was produced against the flow direction, for a range of droplet sizes, lateral distributions of droplets in the channel and localized electric fields.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Assay, assays, break-up, channel, dc fields, deformation, devices, dielectrophoresis, drops, electrocoalescence, electrohydrodynamics, electrostatic enhancement, emulsions, fields, fluid, lab-on-a-chip, liquid-phase separation, microchannel flow, microfluidics, model, particle, physics, plasma, ratio, system, water, water droplets
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cooper, Professor Jonathan and Zagnoni, Dr Michele
Authors: Zagnoni, M., Baroud, C.N., and Cooper, J.M.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Physical Review E
ISSN (Online):1550-2376
Published Online:02 October 2009

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
460401Droplet-based microfluidics for single cell-omics.Jonathan CooperBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/F005024/1Biomedical Engineering