Volume 304 of the series Topics in Current Chemistry pp 27-68


Micromixing Within Microfluidic Devices

  • Lorenzo CaprettoAffiliated withSchool of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton
  • , Wei ChengAffiliated withSchool of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton
  • , Martyn HillAffiliated withSchool of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton
  • , Xunli ZhangAffiliated withSchool of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton Email author 

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Micromixing is a crucial process within microfluidic systems such as micro total analysis systems (μTAS). A state-of-art review on microstructured mixing devices and their mixing phenomena is given. The review first presents an overview of the characteristics of fluidic behavior at the microscale and their implications in microfluidic mixing processes. According to the two basic principles exploited to induce mixing at the microscale, micromixers are generally classified as being passive or active. Passive mixers solely rely on pumping energy, whereas active mixers rely on an external energy source to achieve mixing. Typical types of passive micromixers are discussed, including T- or Y-shaped, parallel lamination, sequential, focusing enhanced mixers, and droplet micromixers. Examples of active mixers using external forces such as pressure field, electrokinetic, dielectrophoretic, electrowetting, magneto-hydrodynamic, and ultrasound to assist mixing are presented. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of mixing in a microfluidic environment are discussed.


Active micromixers Microfluidics Micromixing Mixing principles Passive micromixers