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Mass and momentum transport in microcavities for diffusion-dominant cell culture applications



Alvin G. Yew, Francisco J. Atencia, Alvin G. Yew, Adam Hsieh, Daniel Pinero


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.
Applied Physics Letters


microfluidics, diffusion, cell culture, cavity flow


Yew, A. , Atencia, F. , Yew, A. , Hsieh, A. and Pinero, D. (2013), Mass and momentum transport in microcavities for diffusion-dominant cell culture applications, Applied Physics Letters (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2013, Updated June 2, 2021