My group is investigating how microfluidic devices can be designed and employed to characterise and separate particles, most prominently biological particles, such as blood cells, bacteria or cancer cells. The primary applications are lab-on-chip devices for point-of-care diagnostics. This includes deterministic lateral displacement (DLD), inertial microfluidics and other approaches. The challenge is the complex interaction of particle dynamics, device geometry and fluid flow.
Blood flow modelling
The understanding of blood flow in health and disease is a central research topic in Engineering and Medicine. Typical diseases affecting or affected by blood flow are cancer, hypertension, diabetes and malaria. My group is developing advanced models and software to characterise particulate blood flow in capillary networks, tumour vasculate and the retina. Most of the blood flow modelling in my group is microscopic, which means that blood cells and their flow-induced deformations are resolved. This requires fluid-structure interaction algorithms, such as lattice Boltzmann, finite elements and immersed boundaries.
Latest publication: Q. Zhou, J. Fidalgo, L. Calvi, M.O. Bernabeu, P.R. Hoskins, M.S.N. Oliveira, T. Krüger Spatio-temporal dynamics of dilute red blood cell suspensions in a microchannel flow at low Reynolds number. arXiv
Complex flow modelling
There is no unique and clear definition of “complex flows”. It can be understood as a research field involving fluid flow coupled with additional physical mechanisms, such as diffusion, surface tension (capillary effects), phase change (e.g. boiling) and particle growth/precipitation out of solution. In my group, the unifying element is the lattice-Boltzmann method (see our book).
Latest publication: M. Wouters, O. Aouane, T. Krüger, J. Harting. Mesoscale simulation of soft particles with tunable contact angle in multi-component fluids. arXiv