Recent advances in capillary microflows for point-of-care and home-care devices

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Biotechnology has been recently seeing fundamental evolutions: first, a clear shift towards biological applications; second a trend towards the design and fabrication of portable devices; third the choice of inexpensive materials such as plastic or paper. The first aspect has already been reported in the literature. In this work, we deal with the two other recent—and still ongoing—evolutions. From a microfluidic stand point, the trend towards low-cost, portable systems is promoting the use of capillarity for the actuation of fluids. On the other hand, easy-to-use and inexpensive devices can be fabricated using 3D-printing of a plastic matrix or by paper embossing. We present here the recent theoretical developments of capillary flows from a static and dynamic viewpoint, for Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, and we show how such capillary flows are compatible with plastic and paper substrates. Keywords: spontaneous capillary flow (SCF), Gibbs free energy, Lucas-Washburn-Rideal law, friction force, capillary force.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical: TechConnect Briefs 2015
Published: June 14, 2015
Pages: 190 - 193
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Micro & Bio Fluidics, Lab-on-Chip
ISBN: 978-1-4987-4729-5