Optimised multi-stream microfluidic designs for controlled extensional deformation

Konstantinos Zografos, Simon J. Haward, Mónica S. N. Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


In this study, we optimise two types of multi-stream configurations (a T-junction and a flow-focusing design) to generate a homogeneous extensional flow within a well-defined region. The former is used to generate a stagnation point flow allowing molecules to accumulate significant strain, which has been found very useful for performing elongational studies. The latter relies on the presence of opposing lateral streams to shape a main stream and generate a strong region of extension in which the shearing effects of fluid–wall interactions are reduced near the region of interest. The optimisations are performed in two (2D) and three dimensions (3D) under creeping flow conditions for Newtonian fluid flow. It is demonstrated that in contrast with the classical-shaped geometries, the optimised designs are able to generate a well-defined region of homogeneous extension. The operational limits of the obtained 3D optimised configurations are investigated in terms of Weissenberg number for both constant viscosity and shear-thinning viscoelastic fluids. Additionally, for the 3D optimised flow-focusing device, the operational limits are investigated in terms of increasing Reynolds number and for a range of velocity ratios between the opposing lateral streams and the main stream. For all obtained 3D optimised multi-stream configurations, we perform the experimental validation considering a Newtonian fluid flow. Our results show good agreement with the numerical study, reproducing the desired kinematics for which the designs are optimised.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Number of pages21
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number12
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019


  • extensional flow
  • optimisation
  • flow-focusing
  • t-junction
  • multi-stream devices
  • viscoelastic fluids


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