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Investigation of pumping mechanism for non‐Newtonian blood flow with AC electrothermal forces in a microchannel by hybrid boundary element method and immersed boundary‐lattice Boltzmann method

Ren, Qinlong
Electrophoresis 2018 v.39 no.11 pp. 1329-1338
aqueous solutions, blood flow, dielectric properties, electric power, electrodes, electrophoresis, energy, models, rapid methods, rheological properties
Efficient pumping of blood flow in a microfluidic device is essential for rapid detection of bacterial bloodstream infections (BSI) using alternating current (AC) electrokinetics. Compared with AC electro‐osmosis (ACEO) phenomenon, the advantage of AC electrothermal (ACET) mechanism is its capability of pumping biofluids with high electrical conductivities at a relatively high AC voltage frequency. In the current work, the microfluidic pumping of non‐Newtonian blood flow using ACET forces is investigated in detail by modeling its multi‐physics process with hybrid boundary element method (BEM) and immersed boundary‐lattice Boltzmann method (IB‐LBM). The Carreau–Yasuda model is used to simulate the realistic rheological behavior of blood flow. The ACET pumping efficiency of blood flow is studied in terms of different AC voltage magnitudes and frequencies, thermal boundary conditions of electrodes, electrode configurations, channel height, and the channel length per electrode pair. Besides, the effect of rheological behavior on the blood flow velocity is theoretically analyzed by comparing with the Newtonian fluid flow using scaling law analysis under the same physical conditions. The results indicate that the rheological behavior of blood flow and its frequency‐dependent dielectric property make the pumping phenomenon of blood flow different from that of the common Newtonian aqueous solutions. It is also demonstrated that using a thermally insulated electrode could enhance the pumping efficiency dramatically. Besides, the results conclude that increasing the AC voltage magnitude is a more economical pumping approach than adding the number of electrodes with the same energy consumption when the Joule heating effect is acceptable.