In industrial processes, the microtechnology concept refers to the operation of small devices that integrate the elements of operational and reaction units to save energy and space. The advancement of knowledge in the field of microfluidics has resulted in fabricating devices with different applications in micro and nanoscales. Micro- and nano-devices can provide energy-efficient systems due to their high thermal performance. Fluid flow in microchannels and microstructures has been widely considered by researchers in the last two decades. In this paper, a review study on fluid flow within microstructures is performed. The present study aims to present the results obtained in previous studies on this type of system. First, different types of flows in microchannels are examined. The present article will then review previous articles and present a general summary in each section. Then, the multi-phase flows inside the microchannels are discussed, and the flows inside the micropumps, microturbines, and micromixers are evaluated. According to the literature review, it is found that the use of microstructures enhances energy efficiency. The results of previous investigations revealed that the use of nanofluids as a working fluid in microstructures improves energy efficiency. Previous studies have demonstrated special attention to the design aspects of microchannels and micro-devices compared to other design strategies to improve their performance. Finally, general concluding remarks are presented, and the existing challenges in the use of these devices and suggestions for future investigations are presented.
Keywords: microchannels; micromixers; micropumps; microturbines; multi-phase flows.