In this paper we present the numerical simulation-based design of a new microfluidic device concept for electrophoretic mobility and (relative) concentration measurements of dilute mixtures. The device enables stationary focusing points for each species, where the locally applied pressure driven flow (PDF) counter balances the species electrokinetic velocity. The axial location of the focusing point, along with the PDF flowrate and applied electric field reveals the electrokinetic mobility of each species. Simultaneous measurement of the electroosmotic mobility of an electrically neutral specie can be utilized to calculate the electrophoretic mobility of charged species. The proposed device utilizes constant sample feeding, and results in time-steady measurements. Hence, the results are independent of the initial sample distribution and flow dynamics. In addition, the results are insensitive to the species diffusion for large Peclet number flows (Pe > 400), enabling relative concentration measurement of each specie in the dilute mixture.
The study of liquid crystalline assemblies, with an emphasis on biological phenomena, is now accessible using newly developed microdevices integrated with X-ray analysis capability. Many biological systems can be described in terms of gradients, mixing, and confinement, all of which can be mimicked with the use of appropriate microfluidic designs. The use of hydrodynamic focusing creates well-defined mixing conditions that vary depending on parameters such as device geometry, and can be quantified with finite element modelling.We describe experiments in which geometry and strain rate induce finite changes in liquid crystalline orientation. We also demonstrate the online supramolecular assembly of lipoplexes. The measurement of lipoplex orientation as a function of flow velocity allows us to record a relaxation process of the lipoplexes, as evidenced by a remarkable 4-fold azimuthal symmetry. All of these processes are accessible due to the intentional integration of design elements in the microdevices.