Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 October 2016
We analyse flow of non-Newtonian fluids in a Hele-Shaw cell, subjected to spatially non-uniform electro-osmotic slip. Motivated by their potential use for increasing the characteristic pressure fields, we specifically focus on power-law fluids with wall depletion properties. We derive a $p$-Poisson equation governing the pressure field, as well as a set of linearized equations representing its asymptotic approximation for weakly non-Newtonian behaviour. To investigate the effect of non-Newtonian properties on the resulting fluidic pressure and velocity, we consider several configurations in one and two dimensions, and calculate both exact and approximate solutions. We show that the asymptotic approximation is in good agreement with exact solutions even for fluids with significant non-Newtonian behaviour, allowing its use in the analysis and design of microfluidic systems involving electrokinetic transport of such fluids.