The preparation of nanoparticles is essential in the application of many nanotechnologies and various preparation methods have been explored in the previous decades. Among them, iron oxide nanoparticles have been widely investigated in applications ranging from bio-imaging to bio-sensing due to their unique magnetic properties. Recently, microfluidic systems have been utilized for synthesis of nanoparticles, which have the advantages of automation, well-controlled reactions, and a high particle uniformity. In this study, a new microfluidic system capable of mixing, transporting and reacting was developed for the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles. It allowed for a rapid and efficient approach to accelerate and automate the synthesis of the iron oxide nanoparticles as compared with traditional methods. The microfluidic system uses micro-electro-mechanical-system technologies to integrate a new double-loop micromixer, two micropumps, and a microvalve on a single chip. When compared with large-scale synthesis systems with commonly-observed particle aggregation issues, successful synthesis of dispersed and uniform iron oxide nanoparticles has been observed within a shorter period of time (15 min). It was found that the size distribution of these iron oxide nanoparticles is superior to that of the large-scale systems without requiring any extra additives or heating. The size distribution had a variation of 16%. This is much lower than a comparable large-scale system (34%). The development of this microfluidic system is promising for the synthesis of nanoparticles for many future biomedical applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology