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Open AccessArticle

Microfluidic Rapid Fabrication of Tunable Polyvinyl Alcohol Microspheres for Adsorption Applications

Energy Research Institute, Qilu University of Technology (Shandong Academy of Sciences), Jinan 250014, China
Key Laboratory of Interfacial Reaction & Sensing Analysis in Universities of Shandong, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Jinan, Jinan 250022, China
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This author contributed equally to this paper.
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3712;
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 11 November 2019
Monodisperse polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) microspheres have been widely used for targeted drug delivery, embolization, and templates. However, the fast and facile fabrication of PVA microspheres with uniform size and internal structure and good sphericity remains a challenge. In this study, the PVA microspheres with uniformity in the size, shape, and internal structure were rapidly fabricated, using single-emulsion droplet templates by an on-chip approach. First, we designed a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chip integrated with three functional units, used for the droplet generation, mixing of reagents, and pre-curing of PVA microspheres, respectively. Then, we precisely controlled the generation of PVA aqueous droplets, mixing of reagents, and the gelation rate for the production of high-quality microspheres by adjusting the pH value, flow rate, and the channel structure. The prepared PVA microspheres are characterized with good sphericity, uniform internal structure, and narrow size distribution. The microspheres have good adsorption capacity and recyclability for small-molecule drugs, as demonstrated by the adsorption and desorption of methylene blue (MB). The adsorption behavior is well described by the pseudo-second-order model, and intraparticle diffusion is as fast as the external film diffusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: PVA; monodisperse microspheres; adsorption; microfluidic chips PVA; monodisperse microspheres; adsorption; microfluidic chips
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.; Wang, X.; Zhu, P.; Chen, C.; Wang, J.; Li, Y.; Wang, L. Microfluidic Rapid Fabrication of Tunable Polyvinyl Alcohol Microspheres for Adsorption Applications. Materials 2019, 12, 3712.

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