Controllable microfluidic production of multicomponent multiple emulsions†
A hierarchical and scalable microfluidic device constructed from a combination of three building blocks enables highly controlled generation of multicomponent multiple emulsions. The number, ratio and size of droplets, each with distinct contents being independently co-encapsulated in the same level, can be precisely controlled. The building blocks are a drop maker, a connector and a liquid extractor; combinations of these enable the scale-up of the device to create higher-order multicomponent multiple emulsions with exceptionally diverse structures. These multicomponent multiple emulsions offer a versatile and promising platform for precise encapsulation of incompatible actives or chemicals, for synergistic delivery and biochemical and chemical reactions, and for engineering multicompartment materials with controlled internal phases.