Round microchannels prove better than rectangular channels

July 19, 2011 — Multi-Scale Energy System (MuSES) Laboratory researchers at Michigan Tech have characterized the output flow power of round and square/rectangular microfluidic channels, revealing distinct improvements with round geometries.

Round microchannels are expected to work better than square ones in bubble-driven micropumps, due to corner leak flow in angular channels. Over the past two years, MuSES graduate student Ryan Lemmens accurately characterized the effect. Maximum output flow power of a valve-less bubble-driven micropump can be improved 3.6-4.6x by simply swapping the commonly used square/rectangular microchannels to round ones.

Lemmens expects the research to inform microfluidic device designers looking to save power and increase performance, for biomedical microfluidics and other applications.

The research results will be published in September 2011 in Sensors and Actuators. Access the abstract here:

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