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IB-LBM study on cell sorting by pinched flow fractionation


Separation of two categories of cells in pinched flow fractionation(PFF) device is simulated by employing IB-LBM. The separation performances at low Reynolds number (about 1) under different pinched segment widths, flow ratios, cell features, and distances between neighboring cells are studied and the results are compared with those predicted by the empirical formula. The simulation indicates that the diluent flow rate should approximate to or more than the flow rate of particle solution in order to get a relatively ideal separation performance. The discrepancy of outflow position between numerical simulation and the empirical prediction enlarges, when the cells become more flexible. Too short distance between two neighboring cells could lead to cell banding which would result in incomplete separation, and the relative position of two neighboring cells influences the banding of cells. The present study will probably provide some new applications of PFF, and make some suggestions on the design of PFF devices.