Photonics Dictionary

flow channel

In various fields such as fluid dynamics, microfluidics, and biotechnology, a flow channel refers to a defined pathway through which a fluid (liquid or gas) flows. The channel can be of various shapes, including straight, curved, or complex geometries, and may be fabricated using different materials such as glass, silicon, or polymers.

The characteristics of a flow channel, including its dimensions, surface properties, and flow conditions, profoundly influence the behavior of the fluid passing through it. Factors such as channel width, depth, and aspect ratio affect flow velocity, pressure drop, and shear stress within the channel. Additionally, surface properties such as surface roughness or functionalization can impact fluid behavior, such as adhesion or mixing.

Flow channels are utilized in a wide range of applications, including:

Microfluidics: Flow channels are fundamental components in microfluidic devices used for precise manipulation and control of small volumes of fluids. These devices find applications in areas such as biochemical analysis, point-of-care diagnostics, drug delivery, and lab-on-a-chip systems.

Fluidic systems: In larger-scale fluidic systems, such as those used in industrial processes or hydraulic systems, flow channels play a crucial role in guiding and controlling the movement of fluids to achieve specific objectives, such as mixing, separation, or transportation.

Biomedical devices: Flow channels are incorporated into various biomedical devices, such as blood analysis systems, organ-on-a-chip platforms, and drug delivery systems, to mimic physiological flow conditions and study biological processes or deliver therapeutic agents.
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