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Issue 23, 2013
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An “off-the-shelf” capillary microfluidic device that enables tuning of the droplet breakup regime at constant flow rates

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Abstract

The fabrication of glass capillary microfluidic devices is technically challenging, often hampering use of the design. We describe a new technique, based on commercially available components, for assembling flow focusing capillary devices that can readily be taken apart and cleaned between uses. This design strategy allows for generation of both water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions in the same device after an ethanol rinse. The modularity of the device enables the adjustment of the tip separation between the two inner capillaries during droplet generation, which enables tuning of the age of the interface. Time-dependent surfactant diffusion to the interface changes the interfacial tension, thus providing an approach for adjusting the capillary number in addition to the usual method of changing flow rates. This design enables the tuning of the mode of breakup and the droplet size.

Graphical abstract: An “off-the-shelf” capillary microfluidic device that enables tuning of the droplet breakup regime at constant flow rates

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Article information


Submitted
07 Jul 2013
Accepted
23 Sep 2013
First published
24 Sep 2013

Lab Chip, 2013,13, 4507-4511
Article type
Technical Innovation

An “off-the-shelf” capillary microfluidic device that enables tuning of the droplet breakup regime at constant flow rates

B. R. Benson, H. A. Stone and R. K. Prud'homme, Lab Chip, 2013, 13, 4507
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50804H

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