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Micromachines 2017, 8(3), 75; doi:10.3390/mi8030075

Microfluidic Production of Multiple Emulsions

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
2
Combustion and CCS Centre, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrew J. deMello and Xavier Casadevall i Solvas
Received: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Droplet Microfluidics: Techniques and Technologies, Volume II)

Abstract

Microfluidic devices are promising tools for the production of monodispersed tuneable complex emulsions. This review highlights the advantages of microfluidics for the fabrication of emulsions and presents an overview of the microfluidic emulsification methods including two-step and single-step methods for the fabrication of high-order multiple emulsions (double, triple, quadruple and quintuple) and emulsions with multiple and/or multi-distinct inner cores. The microfluidic methods for the formation of multiple emulsion drops with ultra-thin middle phase, multi-compartment jets, and Janus and ternary drops composed of two or three distinct surface regions are also presented. Different configurations of microfluidic drop makers are covered, such as co-flow, T-junctions and flow focusing (both planar and three-dimensional (3D)). Furthermore, surface modifications of microfluidic channels and different modes of droplet generation are summarized. Non-confined microfluidic geometries used for buoyancy-driven drop generation and membrane integrated microfluidics are also discussed. The review includes parallelization and drop splitting strategies for scaling up microfluidic emulsification. The productivity of a single drop maker is typically <1 mL/h; thus, more than 1000 drop makers are needed to achieve commercially relevant droplet throughputs of >1 L/h, which requires combining drop makers into twodimensional (2D) and 3D assemblies fed from a single set of inlet ports through a network of distribution and collection channels. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidics; multiple emulsion; Janus drop; core/shell drops; flow focusing; microfibers; ternary drop microfluidics; multiple emulsion; Janus drop; core/shell drops; flow focusing; microfibers; ternary drop
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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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Vladisavljević, G.T.; Al Nuumani, R.; Nabavi, S.A. Microfluidic Production of Multiple Emulsions. Micromachines 2017, 8, 75.

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