Droplet fission has gained notable interest in drug delivery applications due to its ability to perform parallel operations in single device. Hitherto, droplet flow behavior in a 3D constriction was scarcely investigated. This study aims to investigate droplets fission inside a 3D bi-planar multifurcated microfluidic device. The flow behavior and droplet size distribution were studied in trifurcated microchannels using distilled water as dispersed phase (1 mPa·s) and olive oil (68 mPa·s) as continuous phase. Various sizes of subordinate daughter droplets were manipulated passively through the modulation of flowrate ratio (Q) (0.15 < Q < 3.33). Overall, we found droplet size coefficient of variations (CV%) ranging from 0.72% to 69%. Highly monodispersed droplets were formed at the upstream T-junction (CV% < 2%) while the droplet fission process was unstable at higher flowrate ratio (Q > 0.4) as they travel downstream (1.5% < CV% < 69%) to splitting junctions. Complex responses to the non-monotonic behavior of mean droplet size was found at the downstream boundaries, which arose from the deformations under nonuniform flow condition. CFD was used as a tool to study the preliminary maximum velocity (Umax) profile for the symmetrical (0.01334 m/s < Umax < 0.0153 m/s) and asymmetrical branched channels (0.0223 m/s< Umax < 0.00438 m/s), thus complementing the experimental model studies.
- Droplet fission
- Emulsions; 3D multifurcated microchannels
- Two-phase flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology