Complex flow dynamics around 3D microbot prototypes

Soft Matter. 2016 Feb 28;12(8):2334-47. doi: 10.1039/c5sm02422f.


A new experimental setup for the study of the complex flow dynamics around 3D microbot prototypes in a straight microchannel has been developed and assessed. The ultimate aim of this work is focused on the analysis of the morphology of different microbot prototypes to get a better insight into their efficiency when they swim through the main conduits of the human circulatory system. The setup consists of a fused silica straight microchannel with a 3D microbot prototype fastened in the center of the channel cross-section by an extremely thin support. Four different prototypes were considered: a cube, a sphere and two ellipsoids with aspect ratios of 1 : 2 and 1 : 4, respectively. Flow visualization and micro-particle image velocimetry (μPIV) measurements were performed using Newtonian and viscoelastic blood analogue fluids. An efficiency parameter, ℑ, to discriminate the prototypes in terms of flow disturbance has been proposed.