Microfluidics has a lot of applications in fields ranging from pharmaceutical to energy, and one of the major applications is micromixers. A challenge faced by most micromixers is the difficulty in mixing within micro-size fluidic channels because of the domination of laminar flow in a small channel. Hence, magnetic field generated by permanent magnets and electromagnets have been widely used to mix ferrofluids with other sample fluids on a micro level. However, permanent magnets are bulky, and electromagnets produce harmful heat to biological samples; both properties are detrimental to a microfluidic chip’s performance. Taking these into consideration, this study proposes rapid mixing of ferrofluid using a two-layer microfluidic device with microfabricated magnet. Two microfluidic chips that consist of microchannels and micromagnets respectively are fabricated using a simple and low-cost soft lithography method. The custom-designed microscale magnet consists of an array of stripes and is bonded below the plane of the microchannel. The combination of the planar location and angle of the array of magnets allow the migration of ferrofluids, hence mixing it with buffer flow. Parametric studies are performed to ensure comprehensive understanding, including the angle of micro-scale magnets with respect to the fluidic channels, total flow rate and density of the array of magnets. The result from this study can be applied in chemical synthesis and pre-processing, sample dilution, or inducing reactions between samples and reagent.

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