SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Matthew Ballard
TIME: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 210
TITLE: Magnetically Actuated Microfluidic Mixing and Particle Capture
COMMITTEE: Alexander Alexeev, Chair (ME)
Peter Hesketh (ME)
Todd Sulchek (ME)
Hang Lu (ChBE)
Damir Khismatullin (Tulane)


The objective of this work is to model and investigate microfluidic mixing and particle capture using magnetically actuated structures. More specifically, this work is focused on the study of two different types of magnetically actuated structures with microfluidic applications. The first type utilizes magnetic microbeads which are magnetically driven in controlled orbits through a fluid in a microchannel, while the second type uses synthetic cilia actuated in simple patterns by an oscillating magnetic field. We use a fully coupled lattice Boltzmann lattice spring model to perform three-dimensional computational simulations to model and understand the fluid and solid dynamics of these systems. We then investigate the use of these structures for microfluidic mixing and for capture of particles from a fluid sample. We investigate the physical mechanisms that lead to microfluidic mixing and particle capture in these model systems. Further, we study the effect of geometrical configurations and system parameters on microfluidic mixing and particle capture, so as to provide insight into how to exploit these physical mechanisms for effective mixing and particle capture. The results of our research will provide understanding of physical mechanisms that can be harnessed for microfluidic mixing and particle capture in biosensing and other microfluidic applications.