A microfluidic device to sort capsules by deformability: A numerical study
Guided by extensive numerical simulations, we propose a microfluidic device that can sort elastic capsules by their deformability. The device consists of a duct embedded with a semi-cylindrical obstacle, and a diffuser which further enhances the sorting capability. We demonstrate that the device can operate reasonably well under changes in the initial position of the capsule. The efficiency of the device remains essentially unaltered under small changes of the obstacle shape (from semi-circular to semi-elliptic cross-section). Confinement along the direction perpendicular to the plane of the device increases its efficiency. This work is the first numerical study of cell sorting by a realistic microfluidic device.