Journal of Engineering Mathematics

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Convective and diffusive particle transport in channels of periodic cross-section: comparison with experiment

  • B. H. Bradshaw-Hajek
  • N. Islam
  • S. J. Miklavcic
  • L. R. White


This paper compares the results of a theoretical model with published experimental data investigating the potential use of a drift ratchet as a particle transport device. The drift ratchet of interest here involves the oscillation of a particle-laden fluid through a periodically shaped tube, combined with an exploitation of the Brownian motion of the small particles. Our theoretical results support the experimental evidence that, at these scales, the ratchet effect is not the predominant mechanism for facilitating particle transport. Rather, the tube geometry (but not orientation) and the form of the applied oscillating pressure gradient are the primary characteristics which determine the effectiveness of a device for particle transport. In particular, we find that transport is enhanced in a saw-tooth tube in comparison with a straight, cylindrical tube.


Axisymmetric mass and fluid flow Brownian ratchets Convective–diffusive transport Microfluidic particle transport Stokes flow 



This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (Grant Number DP1096282). We are grateful to the anonymous referees whose comments helped to improve this paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. H. Bradshaw-Hajek
    • 1
  • N. Islam
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. J. Miklavcic
    • 1
  • L. R. White
    • 1
  1. 1.Phenomics and Bioinformatics Research Centre, School of Information Technology and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.Mathematics Discipline, Science, Engineering and Technology SchoolKhulna UniversityKhulnaBangladesh

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