Mixing in microfluidic devices has long presented challenges due to the lack of significant turbulence at low Reynolds numbers. Although ample theoretical work has demonstrated methods to enhance microfluidic mixing (e.g., increasing vorticity, arranging chaotic flow profiles), many of these methods are difficult to achieve in practical microfluidic devices, requiring 2D approximations to fully 3D mixing enhancements. In this work, we will show that various designs for enhanced mixing are easily achievable using 3D printing. We will compare the performance of several different mixer designs using Finite Element Analysis and then 3D print and test the designs to see the extent of mixing actual fluidic components, using a novel visualization method to examine the flow profile at different locations within a microfluidic channel. Finally we will demonstrate that Symmetric Three Phase Mixing is easily accomplished using 3D printed structures.
Project end date: 08/19/16