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dc electrokinetic transport of cylindrical cells in straight microchannels
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Electrokinetic transport of cylindrical cells under dc electric fields in a straight microfluidic channel is experimentally and numerically investigated with emphasis on the dielectrophoretic(DEP) effect on their orientation variations. A two-dimensional multiphysics model, composed of the Navier–Stokes equations for the fluid flow and the Laplace equation for the electric potential defined in an arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian framework, is employed to capture the transient electrokinetic motion of cylindrical cells. The numerical predictions of the particle transport are in quantitative agreement with the obtained experimental results, suggesting that the DEP effect should be taken into account to study the electrokinetic transport of cylindrical particles even in a straight microchannel with uniform cross-sectional area. A comprehensive parametric study indicates that cylindrical particles would experience an oscillatory motion under low electric fields. However, they are aligned with their longest axis parallel to the imposed electric field under high electric fields due to the induced DEP effect.
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