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Open AccessArticle

Scalable Production of Monodisperse Functional Microspheres by Multilayer Parallelization of High Aspect Ratio Microfluidic Channels

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong 999077, China
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ThunderBio, Hong Kong 999077, China
3
Bioengineering Graduate Program, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong 999077, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(9), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10090592
Received: 10 August 2019 / Revised: 7 September 2019 / Accepted: 8 September 2019 / Published: 10 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Soft Matter and Mechanobiology)
Droplet microfluidics enables the generation of highly uniform emulsions with excellent stability, precise control over droplet volume, and morphology, which offer superior platforms over conventional technologies for material synthesis and biological assays. However, it remains a challenge to scale up the production of the microfluidic devices due to their complicated geometry and long-term reliability. In this study, we present a high-throughput droplet generator by parallelization of high aspect ratio rectangular structures, which enables facile and scalable generation of uniform droplets without the need to precisely control external flow conditions. A multilayer device is formed by stacking layer-by-layer of the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) replica patterned with parallelized generators. By feeding the sample fluid into the device immersed in the carrying fluid, we used the multilayer device with 1200 parallelized generators to generate monodisperse droplets (~45 μm in diameter with a coefficient of variation <3%) at a frequency of 25 kHz. We demonstrate this approach is versatile for a wide range of materials by synthesis of polyacrylamide hydrogel and Poly (l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) through water-in-oil (W/O) and oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion templates, respectively. The combined scalability and robustness of such droplet emulsion technology is promising for production of monodisperse functional materials for large-scale applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: droplet spontaneous generation; multilayer device; microsphere synthesis; monodispersity; scalable production droplet spontaneous generation; multilayer device; microsphere synthesis; monodispersity; scalable production
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chung, C.H.Y.; Cui, B.; Song, R.; Liu, X.; Xu, X.; Yao, S. Scalable Production of Monodisperse Functional Microspheres by Multilayer Parallelization of High Aspect Ratio Microfluidic Channels. Micromachines 2019, 10, 592.

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