This paper describes the generation of monodisperse calcium alginate (Ca-alginate) microcapsules on a microfluidic platform using the commercial optical disk process. Our strategy is based on combining the rapid injection molding process for a cross-junction microchannel with the sheath focusing effect to form uniform water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions. These emulsions, consisting of 1.5% (w/v) sodium alginate (Na-alginate), are then dripped into a solution containing 20% (w/v) calcium chloride (CaCl2) creating Ca-alginate microparticles in an efficient manner. This paper demonstrates that the size of Ca-alginate microparticles can be controlled from 20 νm to 50 νm in diameter with a variation of less than 10%, simply by altering the relative sheath/sample flow rate ratio. Experimental data show that for a given fixed dispersed phase flow (sample flow), the emulsion size decreases as the average flow rate of the continuous phase flow (sheath flow) increases. The proposed microfluidic platform is capable of generating relatively uniform emulsions and has the advantages of active control of the emulsion diameter, a simple and low cost process and a high throughput.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering