For the informed design of microfluidic devices, it is important to understand transport phenomena at the microscale. This letter outlines an analytically-driven approach to the design of rectangular microcavities extending perpendicular to a perfusion microchannel for microfluidic cell culture devices. We present equations to estimate the spatial transition from advection- to diffusion-dominant transport inside cavities as a function of the geometry and flow conditions. We also estimate the time required for molecules, such as nutrients or drugs to travel from the microchannel to a given depth into the cavity. These analytical predictions can facilitate the rational design of microfluidic devices to optimize and maintain long-term, physiologically-based culture conditions with low fluid shear stress.
Citation: Applied Physics Letters
Pub Type: Journals
microfluidics, diffusion, cell culture, cavity flow