We use a theoretical model to explore how fluid dynamics, in particular, the pressure gradient and wall shear stress in a channel, affect the deposition of particles flowing in a microfluidic network. Experiments on transport of colloidal particles in pressure-driven systems of packed beads have shown that at lower pressure drop, particles deposit locally at the inlet, while at higher pressure drop, they deposit uniformly along the direction of flow. We develop a mathematical model and use agent-based simulations to capture these essential qualitative features observed in experiments. We explore the deposition profile over a two-dimensional phase diagram defined in terms of the pressure and shear stress threshold, and show that two distinct phases exist. We explain this apparent phase transition by drawing an analogy to simple one-dimensional mass-aggregation models in which the phase transition is calculated analytically.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy