Modeling and Optimization Applied to the Design of Fast Hydrodynamic Focusing Microfluidic Mixer for Protein Folding
In this paper, we are interested in the design of a microfluidic mixer based on hydrodynamic focusing which is used to initiate the folding process (i.e., changes of the molecular structure) of a protein by diluting a protein solution to decrease its denaturant concentration to a given value in a short time interval we refer to as mixing time. Our objective is to optimize this mixer by choosing suitable shape and flow conditions in order to minimize its mixing time. To this end, we first introduce a numerical model that enables computation of the mixing time of a considered mixer. Then, we define a mixer optimization problem and solve it using a hybrid global optimization algorithm.
This work was carried out thanks to the financial support of the “Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness” under projects MTM2011-22658 and MTM2015-64865-P; the “Junta de Andalucía” and the European Regional Development Fund through project P12-TIC301; and the research group MOMAT (Ref.910480) supported by “Banco Santander” and “Universidad Complutense de Madrid”.
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