Magnetically actuated artificial cilia for optimum mixing performance in microfluidics

Chia Yuan Chen, Chia Yun Chen, Cheng Yi Lin, Ya Ting Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary lab-chip devices require efficient, high-performance mixing capability. A series of artificial cilia with embedded magnetic particles was fabricated to achieve precise flow manipulation through magnetically driven control. These fabricated structures were actuated in a homogeneous magnetic field generated by a built-in magnetic coil system for various beating cycles inside a microchannel. Three representative trajectories, namely, circular motion, back-And-forth oscillation, and a figure-of-eight pattern, of artificial cilia were designed and generated to mimic the motion of actual cilia. Homogeneous mixing of two highly viscous (>25 centipoise) dyed solutions by using the figure-of-eight trajectory achieved a mixing efficiency of approximately 86%. The underlying relationship between ciliated structures and the induced flow fields was further elucidated by performing a hydrodynamic analysis with micro-particle image velocimetry. In addition, a numerical modeling method which used a fluid structure interaction module was applied to provide quantitative 3D illustrations of induced flow patterns, including vortical structures and vortex core locations. The results reveal that both the magnitude and distribution of induced vortices primarily affect the mixing performance of two viscous flow streams. By using magnetically controlled artificial cilia along with the presented analytical paradigms, a new active flow mixing strategy was suggested to efficiently transport/agitate flows for microfluidics and biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2834-2839
Number of pages6
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering

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