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Solute release from an elastic capsule flowing through a microfluidic channel constriction
Applied Physics Reviews ( IF 12.750 ) Pub Date : 2019-12-20 , DOI: 10.1063/1.5129413
Zheng Yuan Luo; Bo Feng Bai

In recent years, microfluidic channels with narrow constrictions are extensively proposed as a new but excellent possibility for advanced delivery technologies based on either natural or artificial capsules. To better design and optimize these technologies, it is essential and helpful to fully understand the releasing behavior of the encapsulated solute from capsules under various flow conditions which, however, remains an unsolved fundamental problem due to its complexity. To facilitate studies in this area, we develop a numerical methodology for the simulation of solute release from an elastic capsule flowing through a microfluidic channel constriction, in which the tension-dependent permeability of the membrane is appropriately modeled. Using this model, we find that the release of the encapsulated solute during the capsule’s passage through the constriction is enhanced with the increase in the capillary number and constriction length or the decrease in the constriction width. On the other hand, a large variation in the channel height, which is generally larger than the capsule diameter, generates little effect on the released amount of the solute. We reveal that the effects of the capillary number and constriction geometry on the solute release are generally attributed to their influence on the capsule deformation. Our numerical results provide a reasonable explanation for previous experimental observations on the effects of constriction geometry and flow rate on the delivery efficiency of cell-squeezing delivery systems. Therefore, we believe these new insights and our numerical methodology could be useful for the design and optimization of microfluidic devices for capsule-squeezing delivery technologies.
更新日期:2019-12-31

 

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