Improving IFE Target Fabrication with a Droplet Microfluidics Method

Caty Fairclough September 29, 2017

Fusion energy is 30 years away — and always will be. The joke certainly rings true for inertial fusion energy (IFE), which must overcome a number of obstacles before it can become a reality. For example, the current methods for creating IFE targets cannot meet the predicted demand and cost requirements. To solve this problem, researchers designed a new microfluidics method that could address these production bottleneck issues while complying with the strict geometrical requirements of IFE target design.

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Caty Fairclough September 8, 2017

Generating complex emulsion droplets that can be used to fabricate highly compartmentalized microconstructs is difficult to achieve with classic droplet-forming fluidic junctions. These junctions have simple geometries, which can result in a narrow range of flow rate control. To address this issue, one research group designed an oscillatory microfluidic junction with a more complicated geometry. This junction, called the bat-wing junction, can consistently produce uniform and complex double-emulsion droplets, with bespoke components and encapsulated reagents.

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Caty Fairclough August 16, 2017

Research shows that microgravity exposure has an effect on the human body, such as by suppressing immune cell activity. This phenomenon also affects cancer cell migration. Making use of this fact can lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for metastatic cancer cells. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how a research team used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to design a culturing system to study cancer cell migration in microgravity.

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Caty Fairclough March 23, 2017

For those designing process equipment with conventional centrifugal pumps, rotating conical (or cone) micropumps may provide a simpler alternative. However, the performance of rotating cone micropumps needs further analysis, which can be difficult to achieve with only trial-and-error empirical studies. To solve this issue, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to develop a realistic model for analyzing the fluid dynamics and performance of a rotating cone micropump. Here, we discuss their research and results.

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Bridget Cunningham March 22, 2017

The viscous catenary problem has generated a lot of theoretical and experimental interest in recent years. This is due to the industrial importance of the rich phenomena that occur within it. Using the flexibility of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can gain fundamental insights into complex problems like the viscous catenary problem and determine the validity of the assumptions made in previous analyses.

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Bridget Paulus February 6, 2017

If bubbles in a microfluidic device become stuck, it can cause the device to malfunction. Bubble entrapment depends on several factors, including the geometry and flow characteristics of the microchannel, as well as the surface properties of its walls. To study these aspects, Veryst Engineering modeled a bubble in a microchannel using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Today, we look at their results, which shed light on the device geometries and contact angles that lead to bubble entrapment.

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Caty Fairclough January 19, 2017

For those looking to solve complex transport process problems involving photonics and microfluidics, it can be challenging to account for all of the elements involved, including multiple physics phenomena. However, this is necessary for accurate results. By using multiphysics simulation, Carl Meinhart from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Numerical Design, Inc. accurately modeled transport processes in two application areas: high-frequency acoustics and microfluidic valves. Watch his keynote talk from the COMSOL Conference 2016 Boston to get the details.

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Fanny Littmarck January 4, 2017

If an inkjet printhead nozzle is poorly designed, it will lead to a low-quality end product — whether it’s used in a 2D or 3D printer, the fabrication of an integrated circuit, or even DNA synthesis. With simulation, you can determine the ideal printhead nozzle dimensions to achieve precise material deposition. And with the COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software, you can save time by turning your model into an app for use by other project stakeholders.

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Bridget Paulus November 29, 2016

Transdermal drug delivery (TDD) patches continuously deliver drugs into the body for a certain amount of time. However, the skin is designed to keep out foreign substances, like drugs. To create a TDD patch that successfully bypasses this barrier, simulation can be used to study drug release and absorption into the skin. To analyze this process, Veryst Engineering created a TDD patch model with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and compared the results to experimental data.

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Bridget Cunningham July 21, 2016

In any form of treatment, it is always desirable to minimize the level of discomfort that the treatment process causes patients, while ensuring overall safety and effectiveness. For diabetes patients, insulin injections remain an important form of treatment, but the process itself can be painful. With the help of multiphysics simulation, a team of researchers from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology sought to develop a MEMS-based micropump that could administer insulin injections in a safe and painless way.

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Fabrice Schlegel March 17, 2016

When you think of a stout beer, one type that may come to mind is Guinness® beer. This stout is very special, noticeable by its dark body and famous white head. The dynamics of the foam alone are interesting enough to write a series of blog posts about. Although I don’t drink Guinness® beer (I’m a fan of IPA), I found the longstanding debate about whether its bubbles are rising or sinking while the beer settles makes an interesting simulation.

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