Multivortex micromixing. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability to mix liquids in microchannel networks is fundamentally important in the design of nearly every miniaturized chemical and biochemical analysis system. Here, we show that enhanced micromixing can be achieved in topologically simple and easily fabricated planar 2D microchannels by simply introducing curvature and changes in width in a prescribed manner. This goal is accomplished by harnessing a synergistic combination of (i) Dean vortices that arise in the vertical plane of curved channels as a consequence of an interplay between inertial, centrifugal, and viscous effects, and (ii) expansion vortices that arise in the horizontal plane due to an abrupt increase in a conduit's cross-sectional area. We characterize these effects by using confocal microscopy of aqueous fluorescent dye streams and by observing binding interactions between an intercalating dye and double-stranded DNA. These mixing approaches are versatile and scalable and can be straightforwardly integrated as generic components in a variety of lab-on-a-chip systems.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

altmetric score

  • 9.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Sudarsan, A. P., & Ugaz, V. M.

citation count

  • 252

complete list of authors

  • Sudarsan, Arjun P||Ugaz, Victor M

publication date

  • May 2006