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Microfluidics Blog Posts

Designing Inkjet Printheads for Precise Material Deposition

January 4, 2017

The design of an inkjet printhead nozzle is important in order for the device to have precise material deposition, whether it is used in a 2D or 3D printer.

Designing Effective Transdermal Drug Delivery Patches with Simulation

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.

Evaluating an Insulin Micropump Design for Treating Diabetes

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.

Model How the Bubbles in a Glass of Stout Beer Sink, Not Rise

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.

Simulate Three-Phase Flow with a New Phase Field Interface

December 16, 2015

In COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.2, the CFD and Microfluidics modules include a new fluid flow interface for modeling separated three-phase flow. The model behind this fluid flow interface accounts for surface tension between each pair of fluids, contact angles with the walls, as well as the density and viscosity of each of the fluids. The phase field method computes the shape of the interfaces between the three phases and also accounts for interactions with walls.

Focusing on an Electrowetting Lens

August 31, 2015

Adjusting the focal length of a camera lens allows you to change your angle of view. Miniature lenses can achieve this change by using a method called electrowetting. Electrowetting involves changing the balance of forces at a contact point of a free surface and a solid by applying a voltage. However, focus is not obtained immediately due to oscillations in the free surface. Here, we investigate the optimal viscosity for critically damping the free surface when a voltage is applied.

Creating Ultrafast Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests with LEDs

August 26, 2015

Polymerase chain reaction tests have many applications within medical and biological research. In the past, these tests have been performed within a laboratory setting due to their high power requirements and the slow speed at which results are delivered. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new LED-based polymerase chain reaction system that, with its simplicity and speed, could be used in point-of-care testing.

Simulating a Valveless Micropump Mechanism

July 17, 2015

Microfluidic systems often rely on valveless pumps, as they are both gentle on the biological material and low in the risk of clogging. However, by design, this type of pump is not suitable for viscous fluids and systems with small length scales or low flow rates. To overcome this limitation, you can introduce a micropump mechanism that converts oscillatory fluid motion into a unidirectional net flow.


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