Topics in Current Chemistry Volume 304, 2011, pp 27-68
Date: 28 Apr 2011

Micromixing Within Microfluidic Devices

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Abstract

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.