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Application of direct fluid flow oscillations to improve mixing in microbioreactors



This article describes an active mixing method for a microbioreactor that was designed, simulated, tested, and successfully implemented. By applying a varying pressure to a microchannel looping tangentially into a cylindrical microreactor an oscillating fluid flow was shown to occur. Such an oscillating fluid flow improved mixing, both by diffusion and convection. The oscillating fluid flow has a large impact on the ratio between the diffusion domain and the convection domain. A good match was obtained between experimental mixing results, computational fluid dynamics simulation results and the results of a simplified mixing model thus demonstrating the potential of simulation on improving the design of microreactors. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009