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Issue 1, 2016
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Biocompatible fluorinated polyglycerols for droplet microfluidics as an alternative to PEG-based copolymer surfactants

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Abstract

In droplet-based microfluidics, non-ionic, high-molecular weight surfactants are required to stabilize droplet interfaces. One of the most common structures that imparts stability as well as biocompatibility to water-in-oil droplets is a triblock copolymer surfactant composed of perfluoropolyether (PFPE) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) blocks. However, the fast growing applications of microdroplets in biology would benefit from a larger choice of specialized surfactants. PEG as a hydrophilic moiety, however, is a very limited tool in surfactant modification as one can only vary the molecular weight and chain-end functionalization. In contrast, linear polyglycerol offers further side-chain functionalization to create custom-tailored, biocompatible droplet interfaces. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of polyglycerol-based triblock surfactants with tailored side-chain composition, and exemplify their application in cell encapsulation and in vitro gene expression studies in droplet-based microfluidics.

Graphical abstract: Biocompatible fluorinated polyglycerols for droplet microfluidics as an alternative to PEG-based copolymer surfactants

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Article information


Submitted
14 Jul 2015
Accepted
24 Nov 2015
First published
24 Nov 2015

Lab Chip, 2016,16, 65-69
Article type
Technical Innovation

Biocompatible fluorinated polyglycerols for droplet microfluidics as an alternative to PEG-based copolymer surfactants

O. Wagner, J. Thiele, M. Weinhart, L. Mazutis, D. A. Weitz, W. T. S. Huck and R. Haag, Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 65
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00823A

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