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      Fundamentals and applications of inertial microfluidics: a review.

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          Abstract

          In the last decade, inertial microfluidics has attracted significant attention and a wide variety of channel designs that focus, concentrate and separate particles and fluids have been demonstrated. In contrast to conventional microfluidic technologies, where fluid inertia is negligible and flow remains almost within the Stokes flow region with very low Reynolds number (Re ≪ 1), inertial microfluidics works in the intermediate Reynolds number range (~1 < Re < ~100) between Stokes and turbulent regimes. In this intermediate range, both inertia and fluid viscosity are finite and bring about several intriguing effects that form the basis of inertial microfluidics including (i) inertial migration and (ii) secondary flow. Due to the superior features of high-throughput, simplicity, precise manipulation and low cost, inertial microfluidics is a very promising candidate for cellular sample processing, especially for samples with low abundant targets. In this review, we first discuss the fundamental kinematics of particles in microchannels to familiarise readers with the mechanisms and underlying physics in inertial microfluidic systems. We then present a comprehensive review of recent developments and key applications of inertial microfluidic systems according to their microchannel structures. Finally, we discuss the perspective of employing fluid inertia in microfluidics for particle manipulation. Due to the superior benefits of inertial microfluidics, this promising technology will still be an attractive topic in the near future, with more novel designs and further applications in biology, medicine and industry on the horizon.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Lab Chip
          Lab on a chip
          1473-0189
          1473-0189
          Jan 7 2016
          : 16
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
          [2 ] Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane QLD 4111, Australia.
          [3 ] School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
          Article
          10.1039/c5lc01159k
          26584257
          1d8fa3c8-6519-41a8-a59a-d5d037fa0665
          History

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