Customised bifurcating networks for mapping polymer dynamics in shear flows

Joana Fidalgo, Konstantinos Zografos, Laura Casanellas, Anke Lindner, Mónica S. N. Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Understanding the effect of varying shear stresses on individual polymer dynamics is important for applications such as polymer flooding, polymer induced drag reduction, or the design of DNA separation devices. In all cases, the individual polymer response to varying shear flows needs to be understood. A biomimetic design rule was recently proposed for bifurcating networks of rectangular channels of constant depth. These customised microfluidic geometries represent an elegant option to investigate, in a single device, multiple well-controlled shear stresses. Here, we present the first experimental realisation of such customised microfluidic networks, consisting of a series of rectangular microchannels with varying cross-sections, and we demonstrate their potential for testing polymer dynamics. We used microfluidic geometries optimised for both Newtonian and power-law fluids of constant or increasing average wall shear stress. The experimental model systems were tested using particle tracking velocimetry to confirm the theoretically predicted flow fields for shear-thinning xanthan gum solutions and a Newtonian fluid. Then, λ-DNA molecules were used as an example of shear sensitive polymers to test the effect of distinct shear stress distributions on their extension. By observing the conformation of individual molecules in consecutive channels, we demonstrate the effect of the varying imposed stresses. The results obtained are in good agreement with previous studies of λ-DNA extension under shear flow, validating the bifurcating network design. The customised microfluidic networks can thus be used as platforms for the investigation of individual polymer dynamics, in a large range of well-controlled local and cumulative shear stresses, using a single experiment.
LanguageEnglish
Article number064106
Number of pages12
JournalBiomicrofluidics
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

Shear flow
shear flow
Polymers
Microfluidics
shear stress
Shear stress
polymers
DNA
deoxyribonucleic acid
induced drag
Xanthan gum
Equipment and Supplies
Biomimetics
drag reduction
Molecules
shear thinning
Drag reduction
Fluids
Shear thinning
Geometry

Keywords

  • non-Newtonian fluids
  • fluid flows
  • shear thinning
  • velocimetry
  • carbohydrates

Cite this

Fidalgo, Joana ; Zografos, Konstantinos ; Casanellas, Laura ; Lindner, Anke ; Oliveira, Mónica S. N. / Customised bifurcating networks for mapping polymer dynamics in shear flows. In: Biomicrofluidics. 2017 ; Vol. 11, No. 6.
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Customised bifurcating networks for mapping polymer dynamics in shear flows. / Fidalgo, Joana; Zografos, Konstantinos; Casanellas, Laura; Lindner, Anke; Oliveira, Mónica S. N.

In: Biomicrofluidics, Vol. 11, No. 6, 064106, 06.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Customised bifurcating networks for mapping polymer dynamics in shear flows

AU - Fidalgo, Joana

AU - Zografos, Konstantinos

AU - Casanellas, Laura

AU - Lindner, Anke

AU - Oliveira, Mónica S. N.

N1 - This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. The following article appeared in Fidalgo, J, Zografos, K, Casanellas, L, Lindner, A & Oliveira, MSN 2017, 'Customised bifurcating networks for mapping polymer dynamics in shear flows' Biomicrofluidics, vol 11, no. 6, 064106. and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4989978.

PY - 2017/12/6

Y1 - 2017/12/6

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AB - Understanding the effect of varying shear stresses on individual polymer dynamics is important for applications such as polymer flooding, polymer induced drag reduction, or the design of DNA separation devices. In all cases, the individual polymer response to varying shear flows needs to be understood. A biomimetic design rule was recently proposed for bifurcating networks of rectangular channels of constant depth. These customised microfluidic geometries represent an elegant option to investigate, in a single device, multiple well-controlled shear stresses. Here, we present the first experimental realisation of such customised microfluidic networks, consisting of a series of rectangular microchannels with varying cross-sections, and we demonstrate their potential for testing polymer dynamics. We used microfluidic geometries optimised for both Newtonian and power-law fluids of constant or increasing average wall shear stress. The experimental model systems were tested using particle tracking velocimetry to confirm the theoretically predicted flow fields for shear-thinning xanthan gum solutions and a Newtonian fluid. Then, λ-DNA molecules were used as an example of shear sensitive polymers to test the effect of distinct shear stress distributions on their extension. By observing the conformation of individual molecules in consecutive channels, we demonstrate the effect of the varying imposed stresses. The results obtained are in good agreement with previous studies of λ-DNA extension under shear flow, validating the bifurcating network design. The customised microfluidic networks can thus be used as platforms for the investigation of individual polymer dynamics, in a large range of well-controlled local and cumulative shear stresses, using a single experiment.

KW - non-Newtonian fluids

KW - fluid flows

KW - shear thinning

KW - velocimetry

KW - carbohydrates

UR - http://aip.scitation.org/journal/bmf

U2 - 10.1063/1.4989978

DO - 10.1063/1.4989978

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VL - 11

JO - Biomicrofluidics

T2 - Biomicrofluidics

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