, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1-31
Date: 08 Oct 2011

Particle imaging techniques for volumetric three-component (3D3C) velocity measurements in microfluidics


The reliable measurement of the 3D3C velocity field in microfluidic devices becomes more and more important for future optimization and developments for lab-on-a-chip applications or point-of-care medical diagnosis systems. In the past years, different particle-based imaging methods, such as confocal scanning microscopy, holography, stereoscopic and tomographic imaging or approaches based on defocused particle images or optical aberrations have been developed and applied successfully to measure velocity fields in microfluidic systems. The benefits and drawbacks of these methods will be discussed in detail as the proper understanding of the measurement principle is essential to select the most appropriate technique for a desired measurement application. Once an imaging method is chosen, the velocity can be estimated by correlation-based methods or tracking approaches. The advantages and disadvantages of both methods and the importance of image preprocessing will also be discussed in detail.

Graphical abstract