On Flow Visualization Experiments in a Massively Arrayed Microfluidic Production System
The pharmaceutical industry is challenged with continuous production of nanomedicines with high throughput. Well controlled production can be accomplished in a microfluidic channel, but scale-up to massively arrayed microfluidics remains problematic. In case of a fiber-embedded reactor where the fibers define the microfluidic channels, flow visualization can be used to understand the pattern and path that growing particles trace out as they develop. Flow visualization techniques might include commonly used methods such as optical, non-optical and indirect. These techniques are reviewed with critical comparison to the fiber film reactor constraints. With a better understanding of the flow pattern via flow visualization, new models can be developed to better simulate two phase flows, mixing and precipitation within the reactor with special attention to the development of a narrow particle size distribution of nanoparticles.