Université PSL

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Optimised hyperbolic microchannels for the mechanical characterisation of bio-particles
Laboratoire Complex Suspensions - Yanan Liu, Konstantinos Zografos, Joana Fidalgo, Charles Duchene, Clement Quintard, Thierry Darnige, Vasco Filipe, Sylvain Huille, Olivia du Roure, Monica S. N. Oliveira and Anke Lindner
Soft Matter - 16 9844 - DOI: 10.1039/d0sm01293a - 2020
The transport of bio-particles in viscous flows exhibits a rich variety of dynamical behaviour, such as
morphological transitions, complex orientation dynamics or deformations. Characterising such complex
behaviour under well controlled flows is key to understanding the microscopic mechanical properties of
biological particles as well as the rheological properties of their suspensions. While generating regions of
simple shear flow in microfluidic devices is relatively straightforward, generating straining flows in which
the strain rate is maintained constant for a sufficiently long time to observe the objects’ morphologic
evolution is far from trivial. In this work, we propose an innovative approach based on optimised design
of microfluidic converging–diverging channels coupled with a microscope-based tracking method to
characterise the dynamic behaviour of individual bio-particles under homogeneous straining flow.
The tracking algorithm, combining a motorised stage and a microscopy imaging system controlled by
external signals, allows us to follow individual bio-particles transported over long-distances with highquality
images. We demonstrate experimentally the ability of the numerically optimised microchannels
to provide linear velocity streamwise gradients along the centreline of the device, allowing for extended
consecutive regions of homogeneous elongation and compression. We selected three test cases (DNA,
actin filaments and protein aggregates) to highlight the ability of our approach for investigating dynamics
of objects with a wide range of sizes, characteristics and behaviours of relevance in the biological world

1 publications.