First Advisor

George Wesley Hitt


Flow visualization is vital to describe the motion of a fluid in microfluidic channels. This paper summarizes and lists systems based on two common visualization technique categories: particle-based techniques and scalar-based techniques. For this experiment, microfluidic channels were created using PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane). Based on our results and many fabrication trials, it was difficult to say whether this experiment was easy or inexpensive. If the first channel made by the researchers had successfully worked, it would have been clear that utilizing PDMS to fabricate a microfluidic channel for flow visualization was cheap and easy. However, no fully successful microfluidic chips were made after twenty attempted trials. Although, it should be stated that some of the microfluidic chip were semi-successful, meaning that the microfluidic chips worked to an extent or they worked initially before failing. Since so much PDMS was used to make the microfluidic chips, it is not necessarily inexpensive to achieve flow visualization in comparison with other experimental methods. After fabricating the channels, different mixtures were pushed through the channels to analyze the flow and visualize the velocity profile. This experiment is potentially suitable for undergraduate researchers to complete because it is safe in a laboratory. This paper also demonstrates the use of two tools, PhysMo, which is used for video analysis, and ANSYS, which is used for ideal condition analysis and complex calculations. Both scalar-based techniques and particle-based techniques were used to characterize the velocity of the laminar flow within the microchannels, the speed of which will be greatest in the center of the channel and close to zero near the walls.



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