Hydrodynamic simulation of cell docking in microfluidic channels with different dam structures

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Journal / PublicationLab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


The immobilization of biological cells in micro-devices requires high efficiency and easy control while maintaining cell viability. One approach for cell immobilization is to utilize constriction structures such as dams to trap cells in microfluidics. In this paper, we present a comprehensive hydrodynamic analysis of two different types of constriction structures for cell immobilization: dams either in perpendicular or in parallel to the main flow route. Various structural models and experimental conditions were compared for cell docking and alignment, and the pressure and velocity profiles of the flow in the micro-channels and the hydrodynamic force and shear stress on the docked cells were calculated based on fluid dynamic theory and numerical simulation. The effects of the dam structures and cell docking on the flow properties, the transportation efficiency, and the induced stress on the docked cells were analyzed. Improved hydraulic pressure profiles in the auxiliary inlets were discussed for the modulation of the flow characteristics and attenuation of hydrodynamic forces exerted on the cells. Furthermore, a new design combining the advantages of perpendicular and parallel dam structures was proposed for cell-based microfluidics.