Skip to main content

Evolution of mixing in a microfluidic reverse-staggered herringbone micromixer

Abstract

Microfluidic platforms offer a variety of advantages including improved heat transfer, low working volumes, ease of scale-up, and stronger user control on operating parameters. However, flow within microfluidic channels occurs at low Reynolds number (Re), which makes mixing difficult to accomplish. Adding V-shaped ridges to channel walls, a pattern called the staggered herringbone design (SHB), alleviates this problem by introducing transverse flow patterns that enable enhanced mixing. Building on our prior work, we here developed a microfluidic mixer utilizing the SHB geometry and characterized using CFD simulations and complimentary experiments. Specifically, we investigated the performance of this type of mixer for unequal species diffusivities and inlet flows. A channel design with SHB ridges was simulated in COMSOL Multiphysics® software under a variety of operating conditions to evaluate its mixing capabilities. The device was fabricated using soft-lithography techniques to experimentally visualize the mixing process. Mixing within the device was enabled by injecting fluorescent dyes through the device and imaging using a confocal microscope. The device was found to efficiently mix fluids rapidly, based on both simulations and experiments. Varying Re or species diffusion coefficients had a weak effect on the mixing profile, due to the laminar flow regime and insufficient residence time, respectively. Mixing effectiveness increased as the species flow rate ratio increased. Fluid flow patterns visualized in confocal microscope images for selective cases were strikingly similar to CFD results, suggesting that the simulations serve as good predictors of device performance. This SHB mixer design would be a good candidate for further implementation as a microfluidic reactor.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9

References

  1. Amini H, Sollier E, Masaeli M, Xie Y, Ganapathysubramanian B, Stone HA, Di Carlo D (2013) Engineering fluid flow using sequenced microstructures. Nat Commun 4:1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bellassai N, Spoto G (2016) Biosensors for liquid biopsy: circulating nucleic acids to diagnose and treat cancer. Anal Bioanal Chem 408:7255–7264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bird RB, Stewart WE, Lightfoot EN (2006) Transport phenomena. vol Book, Whole. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken

    Google Scholar 

  4. Camesasca M, Manas-Zloczower I, Kaufman M (2005) Entropic characterization of mixing in microchannels. J Micromech Microeng 15:2038–2045

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Camesasca M, Kaufman M, Manas-Zloczower I (2006) Quantifying fluid mixing with the Shannon entropy. ‎Macromol Theory Simul 15:595–607

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Capretto L, Cheng W, Hill M, Zhang X (2011) Micromixing within microfluidic devices. Top Curr chem 304:27–68

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Du Y, Zhang Z, Yim C, Lin M, Cao X (2010) A simplified design of the staggered herringbone micromixer for practical applications. Biomicrofluidics 4:024105. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3427240

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Ehrfeld W, Hessel V, Lowe H (2000) Microreactors: new technology for modern chemistry. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim

    Book  Google Scholar 

  9. Erbacher C, Bessoth F, Busch M, Verpoorte E, Manz A (1999) Towards integrated continuous-flow chemical reactors Mikrochim Acta 131:19–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Fodor PS, Kaufman M (2011) Time evolution of mixing in the staggered herringbone microchannel. Mod Phys Lett B 25:1111

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  11. Fodor P, Itomlenskis M, Kaufman M (2009) Assessment of mixing in passive microchannels with fractal surface patterning. Eur Phys J Appl Phys 47:31301

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Giuffrida MC, Spoto G (2017) Integration of isothermal amplification methods in microfluidic devices: recent advances. Biosens Bioelectron 90:174–186

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Glasgow I, Aubry N (2003) Enhancement of microfluidic mixing using time pulsing Lab Chip 3:114–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Günther A, Jensen KF (2006) Multiphase microfluidics: from flow characteristics to chemical and materials synthesis. Lab Chip 6:1487–1503

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Hessel V, Kralisch D, Krtschil U (2008) Sustainability through green processing—novel process windows intensify micro and milli process technologies. Energy Environ Sci 1:467–478

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Itomlenskis M, Fodor PS, Kaufman M (2008) Design of Passive Micromixers using the COMSOL Multiphysics software package. In: Proceedings of the COMSOL Conference 2008 Boston

  17. Janasek D, Franzke J, Manz A (2006) Scaling and the design of miniaturized chemical-analysis systems. Nature 442:374–380

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Jeong GS, Chung S, Kim CB, Lee SH (2009) Applications of micromixing technology. Analyst 135:460–473

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Johnson T, Ross D, Locasio LE (2002) Rapid microfluidic mixing. Anal Chem 74:45–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Kamholz AE, Weigl BH, Finlayson BA, Yager P (1999) Quantitative analysis of molecular interaction in a microfluidic channel: the T-sensor. Anal Chem 71:5340–5347

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Kamholz AE, Schilling EA, Yager P (2001) Optical measurement of transverse molecular diffusion in a microchannel. Biophys J 80:1967–1972

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Kastner E, Kaur R, Lowry D, Moghaddam B, Wilkinson A, Perrie Y (2015) High-throughput manufacturing of size-tuned liposomes by a new microfluidics method using enhanced statistical tools for characterization. Int J Pharm 477:361–368

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Kaufman M, Camesasca M, Manas-Zloczower I, Dudik LA, Liu C (2007) Applications of statistical physics to mixing in microchannels: entropy and multifractals. In: Vaseashta A, Mihailescu I (eds) Proceedings of NATO Advanced Study Institute: Functionalized Nnanoscale Materials, Devices and Systems for Chem-Bio Sensors, Photonics, and Energy Generation and Storage, 2007. Springer NATO Science for Peace and Security Series Physics and Biophysics, pp 437–444

  24. Kee SP, Gavriilidis A (2008) Design and characterisation of the staggered herringbone mixer. Chem Eng J 142:109–121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Knight J, Vishwanath A, Brody J, Austin R (1998) Hydrodynamic focusing on a silicon chip: mixing nanoliters in microsecond. Phys Rev Lett 80:3863–3866

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Kothapalli CR, Honarmandi P (2014) Theoretical and experimental quantification of the role of diffusive chemogradients on neuritogenesis within three-dimensional collagen scaffolds. Acta Biomater 10:3664–3674

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Kwak TJ, Nam YG, Najera MA, Lee SW, Strickler JR, Chang W (2016) Convex grooves in staggered herringbone mixer improve mixing efficiency of laminar flow in. Microchannel Plos One 11:1–15

    Google Scholar 

  28. Lee S, Kim D, Lee S, Kwon T (2006) A split and recombination micromixer fabricated in a PDMS three-dimensional structure. J Micromech Microeng 16:1067–1072

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Li P, Cogswell J, Faghri M (2012) Design and test of a passive planar labyrinth micromixer for rapid fluid mixing. Sens Actuators B 174:126–132

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Liu YZ, Kim BJ, Sung HJ (2004) Two-fluid mixing in a microchannel. Int J Heat Fluid Flow 25:986–995

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Makgwane PR, Ray SS (2014) Synthesis of nanomaterials by continuous-flow microfluidics: a review. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 14:1338–1363

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. McCabe WL, Smith JC, Harriot P (2004) Unit operations of chemical engineering. vol Book, Whole. McGraw-Hill Education, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  33. Nguyen NT, Wu Z (2005) Micromixers—a review. J Micromech Microeng 15:R1–R16

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Nimafar M, Viktorov V, Martinelli M (2012) Experimental investigation of split and recombination micromixer in confront with basic T- and O- type. Micromixers Int J Mech Appl 2:61–69

    Google Scholar 

  35. Özbey A, Karimzadehkhouei M, Akgönül S, Gozuacik D, Koşar A (2016) Inertial focusing of microparticles in curvilinear microchannels. Sci Rep 6:1–11

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Salmanzadeh A, Shafiee H, Davalos RV, Stremler MA (2011) Microfluidic mixing using contactless dielectrophoresis. Electrophoresis 32:2569–2578

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Spoto G, Corradini R (2012) Detection of non-amplified genomic DNA. vol Book, Whole. Springer Science & Business Media, Berlin

    Book  Google Scholar 

  38. Stremler MA, Haselton FR, Aref H (2004) Designing for chaos: applications of chaotic advection at the microscale. Phil Trans R Soc Lond A 362:1019–1036

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Stroock AD, Dertinger SKW, Ajdari A, Mezic I, Stone HA, Whitesides GM (2002) Chaotic mixer for microchannels. Sci Mag 295:647–651

    Google Scholar 

  40. Sudarsan AP, Ugaz VM (2006) Multivortex micromixing. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103:7228–7233

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Tan WH, Suzuki Y, Kasagi N, Shikazono N, Furukawa K, Ushida T (2005) A lamination micro mixer for micro-immunomagnetic cell sorter. JSME Int J Ser C 48:425–435

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Toonder JD et al (2008) Artificial cilia for active micro-fluidic mixing. Lab Chip 8:533–541

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Tsai J, Lin L (2001) Active microfluidic mixer and gas bubble filter driven by thermal bubble micropump. Sens Actuators A 97:665–671

    Google Scholar 

  44. Welty JR, Wicks CE, Wilson RE, Rorrer GL (2008) Fundamentals of momentum, heat, and mass transfer. vol Book, Whole. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken

    Google Scholar 

  45. Williams MS, Longmuir KJ, Yager P (2008) A practical guide to the staggered herringbone mixer. Lab Chip 8:1121–1129. https://doi.org/10.1039/b802562b

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Wu Z, Nguyen NT (2005) Convective–diffusive transport in parallel lamination micromixers. Microfluid Nanofluid 1:208–217

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Xia HM, Wan SYM, Shu C, Chew YT (2005) Chaotic micromixers using two-layer crossing channels to exhibit fast mixing at low Reynolds numbers. Lab Chip 5:748–755

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Yang Z, Matsumoto S, Goto H, Matsumoto M, Maeda R (2001) Ultrasonic micromixer for microfluidic systems. Sens Actuators A 93:266–272

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Yaralioglu G, Wygant I, Marentis T, Khuri-Yakub B (2004) Ultrasonic mixing in microfluidic channels using integrated transducers. Anal Chem 76:3694–3698

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Jorge Gatica for providing the Razel syringe pump and his advice with COMSOL, Edward Jira for his input on SolidWorks®, Dr. Ioannis Zervantonakis for help with species intensity quantification from COMSOL and confocal images, and the California Naonosystems Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for their technical assistance and fabrication of the silicon wafer with SU-8 mold. Financial support from the Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program to B.H., and confocal microscopy facility at CSU (funded by Grant NIH 1 S10 OD010381) is also appreciated.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chandrasekhar R. Kothapalli.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4734 KB)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hama, B., Mahajan, G., Fodor, P.S. et al. Evolution of mixing in a microfluidic reverse-staggered herringbone micromixer. Microfluid Nanofluid 22, 54 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10404-018-2074-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Microfluidic mixer
  • Staggered Herringbone design
  • COMSOL
  • Mixing index
  • Confocal microscopy