Numerical modeling of ultrasonic particle manipulation for microfluidic applications
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A numerical simulation methodology for ultrasonic particle/cell separation and cell washing processes is introduced and validated by comparing with the results from the literature. In this study, a finite element approach is used for modeling fluid flow in a microchannel and analytical relations are utilized for the calculation of the ultrasonic radiation forces. The solutions in acoustic and fluidic domains are coupled, and the particle separation under the influence of ultrasonic waves is numerically simulated. In order to simulate the cell washing process, diffusion and fluid dynamics solutions are coupled and solved. A Monte Carlo approach is chosen where statistical distributions are implemented in the simulations. Uniform distributions for the starting locations of particles/cells in the microchannel and normal distributions for the size of the particles are used in numerical simulations. In each case, 750 particles are used for the simulation, and the performance of separation process is evaluated by checking how many microparticles resulted in the targeted outlet channels. Channel geometries for the numerical simulations are adapted from the experimental studies in literature, and comparison between the reported experimental results and the numerical estimations is performed. It has been observed that the numerical estimations and experimental results from the literature are in good agreement, and the proposed methodology may be implemented as a design tool for ultrasonic particle manipulation for microfluidic applications.
KeywordsMicrofluidics Acoustophoresis Particle separation Acoustic radiation force Acoustic standing wave
Financial support from the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council, Grant No. 112M102, is greatly appreciated.
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