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Issue 9, 2017
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Effect of internal architecture on microgel deformation in microfluidic constrictions

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Abstract

The study of how soft particles deform to pass through narrow openings is important for understanding the transit of biological cells, as well as for designing deformable drug delivery carriers. In this work, we systematically explore how soft microparticles with various internal architectures deform during passage through microfluidic constrictions. We synthesize hydrogel particles with well-defined internal structure using lithography-based UV polymerization in microfluidic channels (stop-flow lithography). Using this in situ technique, we explore a range of 2D particle architectures and their effect on particle deformation. We observe that particles undergo buckling of internal supports and reorient at the constriction entrance in order to adopt preferred shapes that correspond to minimum energy configurations. Using finite element simulations of elastic deformation under compression, we accurately predict the optimal deformation configuration of these structured particles.

Graphical abstract: Effect of internal architecture on microgel deformation in microfluidic constrictions

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
28 Nov 2016
Accepted
31 Jan 2017
First published
10 Feb 2017

Soft Matter, 2017,13, 1920-1928
Article type
Paper

Effect of internal architecture on microgel deformation in microfluidic constrictions

L. Chen, K. X. Wang and P. S. Doyle, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 1920
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02674E

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