Analysis and design optimization of an integrated micropump-micromixer operated for bio-MEMS applications
A generic microfluidic system composed by two single chamber valveless micropumps connected to a simple T-type channel intersection is examined numerically. The characteristics of a feasible valveless micropump have been used in the design, where efficient mixing is produced due to the pulsating flow generated by the micropumps. The advantages of using time pulsing inlet flows for enhancing mixing in channels have been harnessed through the activation of intrinsic characteristics of the pumps required to achieve the periodic flows. A parametric study is carried out on this microfluidic system using Computational Fluids Dynamics (CFD) on a design space defined by a Design-of-Experiments (DOE) technique. With this approach, the frequency f and the phase difference of the periodic fluid velocities (operation parameters) and the angle formed by the inlet channels at the intersection (geometric parameter) are used as design parameters, whereas mixing quality, pressure drop and maximum shear strain rate in the channel are the performance parameters. The study identifies design features for which the pressure drop and shear strain in the channel are reduced whereas the mixing quality is increased. The proposed microfluidic system achieves high mixing quality with performance parameters that enable manipulation of biological fluids in microchannels.