FLUIDS > Microfluidics

Flows of viscoelastic fluids in small scale devices enhance viscoelastic behavior beyond what can be achieved at macro scales. This leads to new flow regimes which we explore in our research activities. The aim is to investigate instabilities, enhanced mixing systems or the optimization of micro-devices, amongst others using classical forcing methods (pressure gradient) or electrokinetics, such as electro-osmosis. In this line of research we combine experiments, numerical calculations and theoretical analysis.

Of particular relevance are the investigations aimed at studying purely elastic instabilities. These are elastic-driven instabilities under inertialess flow conditions, which have been investigated in several geometries, such as: smooth and abrupt contractions; abrupt expansions; flow past a cylinder; lid-driven cavity flow; microfluidic flows in cross slot geometries, Tee channels, flow focusing devices, etc. This work has been done in collaboration with Prof. Paulo Oliveira (UBI), Prof. Rob Poole (Univ. Liverpool) and Prof. G.H. McKinley (MIT).