2019 Volume 35 Issue 3 Pages 249-256
Two solutions that are individually fed at the same flow rate into two separate microchannels of a microchip, combine to form a single channel (a Y-type microchannel). This flow is either parallel for immiscible solutions or initially parallel, but then becomes homogeneous through diffusion, for miscible solutions. However, a new type of microfluidic behavior in a Y-type microchannel that was neither parallel nor homogeneous flow has been observed using, for example, water/acetonitrile (3:4.5, v/v) and acetonitrile/ethyl acetate (3.5:4, v/v) mixed solutions. Each mixed solution was marked with distinctive dyes and delivered at the same flow rate into a Y-type microchannel under laminar flow conditions. In the single channel, the two phases were initially observed to flow in parallel, but then apparently swapped to flow on the opposite wall while retaining parallel flow with a slight change in the components of the two phases. We have named this type of laminar flow “microfluidic inverted flow” for ternary water/hydrophilic/hydrophobic organic solvent mixed solutions. The inverted flow of a ternary water/acetonitrile/ethyl acetate system was examined in detail under various flow conditions. We also proposed a concept of response microfluidic analysis based on such microfluidic inverted flow.