Nanomixer, Laser Light For Microfluidics

The construction of lab on a chip platforms for experiments and drug development has been made possible by the tiny field of microfluidics, which has vastly expanded boundaries in chemistry and pharmaceuticals. The challenges of quickly and effectively mixing various fluids—in channels much thinner than a human hair—become formidable as scientists examine processes at ever-smaller lengths and time scales. Because of this, it has been challenging to use these platforms to delve deeply into some chemical engineering frontiers with high reaction rates that may be productive. Using nanomixers might be the answer.

A group of scientists has proposed a potential fix based on numerical experiments: building a nanomixer with nanoparticles and light radiation pressure to speed up the channel’s normally sluggish diffusion mixing.

According to the researchers’ estimates, compared to other methods for mixing on lab-on-chip platforms, the suggested nanomixer can function at length scales that are an order of magnitude smaller. The team also thinks the system can sort specific nanoparticles by size and mix on-chip reagents at brief lengths and time scales.

Fundamental fluid dynamics primarily cause the challenges of mixing various species in a microfluidic channel. A microfluidic channel’s ability to push liquid through a small conduit suggests a laminar, sheet-like flow and a very low Reynolds number. 

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