Title page for ETD etd-10132008-195616

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Sinha, Ashok
Author's Email Address asinha1@vt.edu
URN etd-10132008-195616
Title Characterizing Magnetic Particle Transport for Microfluidic Applications
Degree PhD
Department Engineering Science and Mechanics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Puri, Ishwar K. Committee Chair
Cramer, Mark S. Committee Member
Hajj, Muhammad R. Committee Member
Hyer, Michael W. Committee Member
Patil, Mayuresh J. Committee Member
  • manipulation
  • magnetic separation
  • magnetic microparticles
  • Microfluidics
Date of Defense 2008-09-25
Availability unrestricted
Magnetic particles with active functional groups offer numerous advantages for use in μ-TAS (Micro Total Analytical Systems). The functional site allows chemical binding of the particle with the target species in the fluid sample. Selection of the functional group establishes the target molecule and vice versa under assumptions of highly specific biding. The particles hence act as mobile reaction substrates with high surface to volume ratios owing to their small size. The concept of action at a distance allows their use as agents for separation in microchannels based on relatively simple design. It is possible to manipulate magnetic particles and bound target species using an externally applied magnetic field. Hence, the particles can be effectively separated from the flow of a carrier fluid. Magnetic fields create dipolar interactions causing the particles to form interesting structures and aggregates. Depending upon the applied field, the microstructure evolution of the aggregate is interesting in its own right, e.g. related to improvements in material properties and bottom-up self assembly. The shape of the aggregates can be determined a priori if the interaction between the particles is well characterized. The dominant competing forces that influence magnetic particle dynamics in a flow are magnetic and viscous. There are a number of physical parameters such as viscosity, magnetic susceptibility, fluid velocity, etc. which are varied to study their individual effects.

Initially dilute suspensions are studied experimentally and numerically using a particle based dynamics approach. Once established, a force model for particle interaction is investigated for concentrated suspensions. A Lagrangian particle tracking algorithm that returns positions of the particles is used for this work that focuses on studying the dynamics of these particles. A mathematical model is proposed and investigated for functionalization between magnetic and non-magnetic particles. Having characterized the collection of magnetic particles, the effect of relative concentrations is investigated on the collection of the non-magnetic species.

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