Spatio-temporal image analysis of particle streaks in micro-channels for low-cost electro-hydrodynamic flow characterization
Flow characterization is a primary analytical method for performance evaluation of microfluidic devices. With the increasing prevalence of microfluidic devices in recent years, there is a growing need for simple methods of automated flow estimation. In this work, a novel flow diagnostic technique based on image analysis of particle streaks is introduced, to characterize local flow velocities. While 1D velocimetry using particle tracks has occasionally been discussed for macro-scale environments, the use of particle streaks for 2-D flow characterization in micro-channels has not been explored. The proposed technique is qualitatively validated against electrokinetic experiment and numerically validated with simulated flows.