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Bio-Design and Manufacturing  2023 Vol.6 No.1 P.38-50

http://doi.org/10.1007/s42242-022-00215-1


Junction matters in hydraulic circuit bio-design of microfluidics


Author(s):  Yao Lin, Dongliang He, Zerui Wu, Yurou Yao, Zhanhao Zhang, Yuheng Qiu, Shan Wei, Guangzhu Shang, Xingyue Lei, Ping Wu, Weiping Ding & Liqun He

Affiliation(s):  Department of Thermal Science and Energy Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China; more

Corresponding email(s):   wpdings@ustc.edu.cn, heliqun@ustc.edu.cn

Key Words:  Junctions, Hydraulics, Microfluidic chip design


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Yao Lin, Dongliang He, Zerui Wu, Yurou Yao, Zhanhao Zhang, Yuheng Qiu, Shan Wei, Guangzhu Shang, Xingyue Lei, Ping Wu, Weiping Ding & Liqun He. Junction matters in hydraulic circuit bio-design of microfluidics[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science D, 2023, 6(1): 38-50.

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Abstract: 
Microfluidic channels are at micrometer scales; thus, their fluid flows are laminar, resulting in the linear dependence of pressure drop on flow rate in the length of the channel. The ratio of the pressure drop to flow rate, referred to as resistance, depends on channel size and dynamic viscosity. Usually, a microfluidic chip is analogous to an electric circuit in design, but the design is adjusted to optimize channel size. However, whereas voltage loss is negligible at the nodes of an electric circuit, hydraulic pressure drops at the nodes of microfluidic chips by a magnitude are comparable to the pressure drops in the straight channels. Here, we prove by experiment that one must fully consider the pressure drops at nodes so as to accurately design a precise microfluidic chip. In the process, we numerically calculated the pressure drops at hydraulic nodes and list their resistances in the range of flows as concerned. We resorted to machine learning to fit the calculated results for complex junctions. Finally, we obtained a library of node resistances for common junctions and used them to design three established chips that work for single-cell analysis and for precision allocation of solutes (in gradient and averaging concentration microfluidic networks). Endothelial cells were stimulated by generating concentrations of adriamycin hydrochloride from the last two microfluidic networks, and we analyzed the response of endothelial cells. The results indicate that consideration of junction resistances in design calculation brings experimental results closer to the design values than usual. This approach may therefore contribute to providing a platform for the precise design of organ chips.

中国科学技术大学何立群等 | 基于微流控输运网络节点阻力特征的微流控芯片精准设计方法

本研究论文聚焦基于微流控输运网络节点阻力特征的微流控芯片精准设计方法。微流控通道内流体的流动特征为层流,故通道内压降与流量呈线性相关,其比值称为阻力,取决于通道的尺寸与动力粘度。通常,微流控芯片设计方法类似于电路设计,主要关注直管段尺寸布置。其实,水力网络设计与电路设计略有不同。体现在节点上,电路局部电压损失可以忽略不计,但流体局部压降相对于直管段压降不能忽略。本文着重解决常见节点局部阻力计算方法,通过数值计算建立了微流体局部阻力构件库。据此,建立了模块化的微流控芯片设计方法。我们设计几组实验检验所建立的方法。其中,通过阿霉素刺激内皮细胞后观察和分析内皮细胞的反应来进行最终的判断。结果表明,考虑局部阻力后,微流控芯片分配组分的精度获得极大提高,表明在设计中考虑局部阻力是十分必要的。本文所建立的设计方针有助于微流控芯片更加准确地用于单分子水平的分析与检测,甚至设计更为精准的器官芯片。

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