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Numerical and experimental analysis on microbubble generation and multiphase mixing in novel microfluidic devices

Pan, Xiang; (2018) Numerical and experimental analysis on microbubble generation and multiphase mixing in novel microfluidic devices. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In this study, a novel K-junction microfluidic junction and a conventional cross-junction were investigated numerically and experimentally for microbubble generation and multiple fluids mixing. In the K-junction, liquid solutions were injected into the junction via three liquid inlet channels, along with inert nitrogen gas supplied via the gas inlet channel, to periodically generate microbubbles in a controlled manner at the outlet channel. Numerical simulations based on Finite Volume method and Volume of Fluid (VOF) technique and experiments of both the K-junction and the cross-junction were conducted. The effect of parameters such as contact angle, surface tension, viscosity, gas pressure and gas-liquid flow ratios on the microbubble size distribution was investigated. The process of microbubble generation, obtained through high speed camera imaging and the numerical simulation, has shown good agreement in both junctions as well as the influence of viscosity and gas-liquid flow ratios for the K-junction and cross-junction. It was indicated that parameters like solution viscosities, gas-to-liquid flow ratios, gas inlet pressure, and their combination have a significant influence on the microbubble diameter, which was found to be in the range of 70-240 µm when using micro capillaries of 100 µm inner diameter. The multiple fluids mixing study was investigated by using two or three different polymer solutions for the cross-junction and the K-junction respectively in simulations and experiments. It can be seen that the mixing process obtained from simulations agrees well with experimental results and chaotic mixing was found in the mixing area of the K-junction, with higher mixing efficiency than the cross junction. Fluorescent images of microbubbles generated by using polymer solutions with dyes inside have shown the devices’ potential of encapsulating fluorescent dyes and polymers on the shell of bubbles and could be adopted as a method to encapsulate active pharmaceutical ingredients for potential applications in drug delivery.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Numerical and experimental analysis on microbubble generation and multiphase mixing in novel microfluidic devices
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055471
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