The ability to create precise and carefully controlled chemoattractant gradients makes microfluidics the ideal tool to study motility, chemotaxis and the ability to evolve and develop resistance to antibiotics in small populations of microorganisms and in a short period of time. FLOW-3D can help researchers in devising newer and better gradient generators as shown in the examples below.
1-D Gradient generator with de-coupled convection and diffusion
In this 1-D microfluidic palette simulation using FLOW-3D, a clean decoupling of the convective cells from the main central microchannel can be seen be through the plotted streamlines. The streamlines are all restrained to the convection units only and not even a single one leaks out into the microchannel, indicating excellent decoupling of convection and diffusion. The evolution of source concentration can be seen in the plot, which becomes visibly constant by the end of the animation.
This FLOW-3D simulation of a 2-D microfluidic palette demonstrates a spatio-temporal control on the generated gradients. The source and sink are rotated at an angular velocity. Also, after every t seconds, the active access port is deactivated and the next port is turned on. To see the live status of the diffusion inside the chamber, three line probes are placed in the simulation (marked in red, blue and black, respectively, in the bottom right window of the simulation).
Read the Microfluidic Palette – A Gradient Generator blog.