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Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 331; doi:10.3390/mi8110331

Microfluidic Droplet Extraction by Hydrophilic Membrane

1
School of Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
2
ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Abstract

Droplet-based microfluidics are capable of transporting very small amounts of fluid over long distances. This characteristic may be applied to conventional fluid delivery using needles if droplets can be reliably expelled from a microfluidic channel. In this paper, we demonstrate a system for the extraction of water droplets from an oil-phase in a polymer microfluidic device. A hydrophilic membrane with a strong preference for water over oil is integrated into a droplet microfluidic system and observed to allow the passage of the transported aqueous phase droplets while blocking the continuous phase. The oil breakthrough pressure of the membrane was observed to be 250 ± 20 kPa, a much greater pressure than anywhere within the microfluidic channel, thereby eliminating the possibility that oil will leak from the microchannel, a critical parameter if droplet transport is to be used in needle-based drug delivery. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidic; droplet; extraction; surface tension; membrane microfluidic; droplet; extraction; surface tension; membrane
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Feng, S.; Nguyen, M.N.; Inglis, D.W. Microfluidic Droplet Extraction by Hydrophilic Membrane. Micromachines 2017, 8, 331.

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