Numerical investigation of heterogeneous soft particle pairs in inertial microfluidics

Ben Owen, Krishnaveni Thota, Timm Krüger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The formation of pairs of particles or cells of different types in microfluidic channels can be desired or detrimental in healthcare applications. It is still unclear what role softness heterogeneity plays in the formation of these particle pairs. We use an in-house lattice-Boltzmann–immersed-boundary–finite-element solver to simulate a pair of particles with different softness flowing through a straight channel with a rectangular cross-section under initial conditions representative of a dilute suspension. We find that softness heterogeneity significantly affects the pair dynamics, determining whether a pair will form or not, and determining the lateral and inter-particle equilibrium behaviour in the pair. We also observe close matches between the transient deformation of particles in a linear pair and single particles in isolation. These results further our understanding of pair behaviour, providing a foundation for understanding particle train formation, and open up the potential to develop reduced-order models for particle pair formation based upon the behaviour of single particles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date23 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2023


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