Microfluidics for Porous Systems: Fabrication, Microscopy and Applications

  • Alireza GeramiEmail author
  • Yara Alzahid
  • Peyman Mostaghimi
  • Navid Kashaninejad
  • Farzan Kazemifar
  • Tammy Amirian
  • Nader Mosavat
  • Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani
  • Ryan T. Armstrong


No matter how sophisticated the structures are and on what length scale the pore sizes are, fluid displacement in porous media can be visualized, captured, mimicked and optimized using microfluidics. Visualizing transport processes is fundamental to our understanding of complex hydrogeological systems, petroleum production, medical science applications and other engineering applications. Microfluidics is an ideal tool for visual observation of flow at high temporal and spatial resolution. Experiments are typically fast, as sample volume is substantially low with the use of miniaturized devices. This review first discusses the fabrication techniques for generating microfluidics devices, experimental setups and new advances in microfluidic fabrication using three-dimensional printing, geomaterials and biomaterials. We then address multiphase transport in subsurface porous media, with an emphasis on hydrology and petroleum engineering applications in the past few decades. We also cover the application of microfluidics to study membrane systems in biomedical science and particle sorting. Lastly, we explore how synergies across different disciplines can lead to innovations in this field. A number of problems that have been resolved, topics that are under investigation and cutting-edge applications that are emerging are highlighted.


Microfluidics Porous media Flow visualization On-a-chip applications Lab-on-a-chip Micromodels 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Minerals and Energy Resources EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringCalifornia State University SacramentoSacramentoUSA
  4. 4.Australian School of PetroleumUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.Faculty of Engineering and TechnologyMuscat UniversityMuscatOman
  6. 6.Institute of Molecular MedicineSechenov First Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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