Numerical simulation of the capillary flow in the meander microchannel

C. C. Lai, C. K. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Pumping in microfluidic devices is an important issue in actuating fluid flow in microchannel, especially that capillary force has received more and more attractions due to the self-driven motion without external power input. However, less 2D simulation was done on the capillary flow in microchannel especially the meander microchannel which can be used for mixing and lab-on-a-chip (LOC) application. In this paper, the numerical simulation of the capillary flow in the meander microchannel has been studied using computer fluid dynamic simulation software CFD-ACE+. Different combinations of channel width in the X-direction denoted as Wx and Y-direction denoted as Wy were designed for simulating capillary flow behavior and pressure drop. The designed four types of meander microchannels (W x × Wy) were 100 × 100 μm, 100 × 200 μm, 50 × 200 μm, and 50 × 400 μm. In this simulation results, it is found that the capillary pumping speed is highly depending on the channel width. The large speed change occurs at the turning angle of channel width change from Wx to Wy. The fastest pumping effect is found in the meander channel of 100 × 100 μm, which has an average pumping speed of 0.439 mm/s. The slowest average flow speed of 0.205 mm/s occurs in the meander channel of 50 × 400 μm. Changing the meander channel width may vary the capillary flow behavior including the pumping speed and the flow resistance as well as pressure drop which will be a good reference in designing the meander microchannels for microfluidic and LOC application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
JournalMicrosystem Technologies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical simulation of the capillary flow in the meander microchannel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this