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High-Throughput Production of Micrometer Sized Double Emulsions and Microgel Capsules in Parallelized 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices

1
DWI—Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52076 Aachen, Germany
2
AVT—Chemical Process Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Forckenbeckstraße 51, 52074 Aachen, Germany
3
OC3—Institute of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2019, 11(11), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11111887
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 10 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Material Design by Microfluidics)
Double emulsions are useful geometries as templates for core-shell particles, hollow sphere capsules, and for the production of biomedical delivery vehicles. In microfluidics, two approaches are currently being pursued for the preparation of microfluidic double emulsion devices. The first approach utilizes soft lithography, where many identical double-flow-focusing channel geometries are produced in a hydrophobic silicone matrix. This technique requires selective surface modification of the respective channel sections to facilitate alternating wetting conditions of the channel walls to obtain monodisperse double emulsion droplets. The second technique relies on tapered glass capillaries, which are coaxially aligned, so that double emulsions are produced after flow focusing of two co-flowing streams. This technique does not require surface modification of the capillaries, as only the continuous phase is in contact with the emulsifying orifice; however, these devices cannot be fabricated in a reproducible manner, which results in polydisperse double emulsion droplets, if these capillary devices were to be parallelized. Here, we present 3D printing as a means to generate four identical and parallelized capillary device architectures, which produce monodisperse double emulsions with droplet diameters in the range of 500 µm. We demonstrate high throughput synthesis of W/O/W and O/W/O double emulsions, without the need for time-consuming surface treatment of the 3D printed microfluidic device architecture. Finally, we show that we can apply this device platform to generate hollow sphere microgels. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidics; rapid prototyping; 3D printing; capillary; hollow microgels microfluidics; rapid prototyping; 3D printing; capillary; hollow microgels
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jans, A.; Lölsberg, J.; Omidinia-Anarkoli, A.; Viermann, R.; Möller, M.; De Laporte, L.; Wessling, M.; Kuehne, A.J.C. High-Throughput Production of Micrometer Sized Double Emulsions and Microgel Capsules in Parallelized 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices. Polymers 2019, 11, 1887.

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