Tunable harmonic flow patterns in microfluidic systems through simple tube oscillation Academic Article uri icon


  • Generation of tunable harmonic flows at low cost in microfluidic systems is a persistent and significant obstacle to this field, substantially limiting its potential to address major scientific questions and applications. This work introduces a simple and elegant way to overcome this obstacle. Harmonic flow patterns can be generated in microfluidic structures by simply oscillating the inlet tubes. Complex rib and vortex patterns can be dynamically modulated by changing the frequency and magnitude of tube oscillation and the viscosity of liquid. Highly complex rib patterns and synchronous vortices can be generated in serially connected microfluidic chambers. Similar dynamic patterns can be generated using whole or diluted blood samples without damaging the sample. This method offers unique opportunities for studying complex fluids and soft materials, chemical synthesis of various compounds, and mimicking harmonic flows in biological systems using compact, tunable, and low-cost devices.


  • Thurgood, P
  • Suarez, SA
  • Pirogova, E
  • Jex, AR
  • Peter, Karlheinz
  • Baratchi, S
  • Khoshmanesh, K

publication date

  • October 27, 2020

published in