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Micromachines  2013 

Active Continuous-Flow Micromixer Using an External Braille Pin Actuator Array

DOI: 10.3390/mi4010080

Keywords: active micromixer, continuous-flow, chaotic advection, channel wall deflection, PDMS chip, cell sample dilution, microfluidic Braille pin actuated platform

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We present a continuous-flow active micromixer based on channel-wall deflection in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) chip for volume flows in the range up to 2?μL s ?1 which is intended as a novel unit operation for the microfluidic Braille pin actuated platform. The chip design comprises a main microchannel connected to a series of side channels with dead ends aligned on the Braille pins. Computer-controlled deflection of the side-channel walls induces chaotic advection in the main-channel, which substantially accelerates mixing in low-Reynolds number flow. Sufficient mixing (mixing index MI below 0.1) of volume flows up to 0.5 μL s ?1 could be achieved within residence times ~500 ms in the micromixer. As an application, continuous dilution of a yeast cell sample by a ratio down to 1:10 was successfully demonstrated. The mixer is intended to serve as a component of bio-analytical devices or as a unit operation in the microfluidic Braille pin actuated platform.


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