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Micro Nano Bio-Fluidics group


Collaborators project

IIT Madras-Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan

Blood is a complex colloidal suspension that carries myriads of information about human health. Understanding the evaporation dynamics and its consequent deposition patterns have direct relevance in disease detection. We studied evaporation dynamics of whole and diluted blood droplets over hydrophilic (glass) and hydrophobic (PDMS, polydimethylsiloxane) substrates. Our experiments show that blood drops evaporating on a hydrophilic substrate exhibit radial and orthoradial cracks in the coronal region and random cracks in the central region. Using Griffith’s energy criterion, we show that crack formation takes place when the capillary pressure and the resulting compressive stress inside the evaporating droplet exceeds critical stress which depends on the elastic modulus, interfacial energy, and the particle concentration of the system.

IIT Madras-Lund University, Sweden

The coalescence of liquid droplets with a liquid stream has profound importance in various emerging applications, such as biochemical assays. Acoustic force-based droplet manipulation, which offers unique advantages, is consequently gaining attention. However, the physics of acoustics-driven coalescence of liquid droplets with a liquid stream is not well understood. Here, we unravel the mechanism of coalescence of aqueous droplets flowing in an immiscible (oil) phase with a coflowing aqueous stream, when the system is exposed to acoustic radiation force due to bulk acoustic waves. Our study reveals that the acoustic coalescence phenomenon is governed by the interplay between two important timescales, acoustic migration timescale (τac) and advection timescale (τadv), that underpin the phenomenon.

IIT Madras-University of Waterloo, Canada

Shear-thinning viscoelastic (STVE) flows exhibit intriguing phenomena owing to their complex rheology and the coupling of various forces involved. Here, we studied an understanding of the cross-stream migration of droplets in a confined STVE flow and unravel the role of a shear-thinning induced lift force (FSM) in their dynamical behavior. We perform experiments with popular STVE liquids of different molecular weights and concentrations (c) for Reynolds numbers Re < 1 and Weissenberg numbers Wi = 0.01–7.4. Our results reveal larger droplets (of drop-to-channel ratio β ≥ 0.28) that follow their original streamlines, whereas smaller droplets (β ≤ 0.2) exhibit center ward migration and the migration rates depend upon the drop-to-medium viscosity (k) and elasticity (ξ) ratios.

IIT Madras-, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Microwell arrays are amongst the most commonly used platforms for biochemical assays. However, the coalescence of droplets that constitute the dispersed phase of suspensions housed within microwells has not received much attention to date. Herein, we study the coalescence of droplets in a two-phase system in a microwell driven by surface acoustic waves (SAWs). We elucidate the physics of the coalescence phenomenon using a scaling analysis of the relevant forces, namely, the acoustic streaming-induced drag force, the capillary and viscous forces associated with the drainage of the thin continuous phase film between the droplets, and the van der Waals attraction force. We confirm that droplet–droplet interface contact is established through the formation of a liquid bridge, whose neck radius grows linearly in time in the preceding viscous regime and proportionally with the square root of time in the subsequent inertial regime.