Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 84, 2016, Issue in Progress
Previous Article Next Article

Droplet generation in cross-flow for cost-effective 3D-printed “plug-and-play” microfluidic devices

Author affiliations

Abstract

Droplet-based microfluidics is a rapidly growing field of research and involves various applications from chemistry to biology. Droplet generation techniques become the pre-requisite focus. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) technology has recently been exploited in microfluidics due to its simplicity and low cost. However, only relatively large droplets can be produced in current 3D-printed droplet generators, due to the channel dimension limitations on how fine a channel can be 3D-printed. Here we report a novel design of a 3D-printed “plug-and-play” device for the generation of monodisperse microdroplets with sizes down to ∼50 μm. This device combines a 3D-printed generator, a commercial tubing and a fingertight fitting, which can be easily assembled and disassembled. Different emulsions, water-in-oil and oil-in-water, can be generated in the same device. Scaling laws for droplet sizes generated in our device have been successfully proposed and verified. Furthermore, the feasibility of 3D printing technology used in droplet-based engineering applications has been demonstrated by two novel 3D-printed devices, as well as by using the device for producing magnetically responsive microparticles.

Graphical abstract: Droplet generation in cross-flow for cost-effective 3D-printed “plug-and-play” microfluidic devices

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
05 May 2016
Accepted
29 Jul 2016
First published
04 Aug 2016

RSC Adv., 2016,6, 81120-81129
Article type
Paper

Droplet generation in cross-flow for cost-effective 3D-printed “plug-and-play” microfluidic devices

J. M. Zhang, A. A. Aguirre-Pablo, E. Q. Li, U. Buttner and S. T. Thoroddsen, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 81120 DOI: 10.1039/C6RA11724D

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements