Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Trinkle


Microfluidic devices have found applications in a number of areas, such as medical analysis, chemical synthesis, biological study, and drug delivery. Because of the small channel dimensions used in these systems, most microchannels exhibit laminar flow due to their low Reynold’s number, making mixing of fluids very challenging. Mixing at this size scale is diffusion-limited, so inducing chaotic flow patterns can increase the interface surface area between two fluids, thereby decreasing overall mixing time.

One method to create a chaotic flow within the channel is through the introduction of internal protrusions into the channel. In such an application protrusions that create a rotational flow within the channel are preferred due to their effectiveness in folding the two fluids over one another. The novel mixer outlined in this paper uses a Ti-Ni shape memory alloy for the creation of protrusions that can be turned controlled through material temperature. Controllability of the alloy allows users to turn the chaotic flow created by the protrusions off and on by varying the temperature of the mixer. This ability contributes to the idea of a continuous microfluidic system that can be turned on only when necessary as well as recycle unmixed fluids while turned off.