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Issue 4, 2011
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Monodisperse hydrogel microspheres by forced droplet formation in aqueous two-phase systems

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Abstract

This paper presents a method to form micron-sized droplets in an aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) and to subsequently polymerize the droplets to produce hydrogel beads. Owing to the low interfacial tension in ATPS, droplets do not easily form spontaneously. We enforce the formation of drops by perturbing an otherwise stable jet that forms at the junction where the two aqueous streams meet. This is done by actuating a piezo-electric bending disc integrated in our device. The influence of forcing amplitude and frequency on jet breakup is described and related to the size of monodisperse droplets with a diameter in the range between 30 and 60 μm. Rapid on-chip polymerization of derivatized dextran inside the droplets created monodisperse hydrogel particles. This work shows how droplet-based microfluidics can be used in all-aqueous, surfactant-free, organic-solvent-free biocompatible two-phase environment.

Graphical abstract: Monodisperse hydrogel microspheres by forced droplet formation in aqueous two-phase systems

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Sep 2010, accepted on 10 Nov 2010 and first published on 01 Dec 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00375A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 620-624
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    Monodisperse hydrogel microspheres by forced droplet formation in aqueous two-phase systems

    I. Ziemecka, V. van Steijn, G. J. M. Koper, M. Rosso, A. M. Brizard, J. H. van Esch and M. T. Kreutzer, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 620
    DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00375A

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