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Transformable bubble-filled alginate microfibers via vertical microfluidics

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Abstract

A novel buoyancy-assisted vertical microfluidic setup has been developed to fabricate a new class of transformable bubble-filled hydrogel microfibers. A co-axial flow of an aqueous sodium-alginate solution enveloping an air phase was injected into a quiescent aqueous CaCl2 solution, through a vertically-oriented co-axial glass-capillary setup. This induced instantaneous gelation and produced bubble-filled calcium-alginate fibers. The surface-morphology of the resulting fibers was controlled from smooth to wavy by slowing down the gelation kinetics. The advantage of the buoyancy force acting on the fibers by the trapped air bubbles was taken not only to shape the fibers, but to transform them into several other novel hydrogel structures, such as water-filled segmented fibers, beaded microfibers, and threaded capsules. The ultimate transformability was demonstrated by the fibers being allowed to elongate and then undergo controlled destruction to produce uniform anisotropic micro-particles with a wide range of sizes and shapes from frustums to barrel and cylindrical types.

Graphical abstract: Transformable bubble-filled alginate microfibers via vertical microfluidics

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Oct 2018, accepted on 15 Jan 2019 and first published on 16 Jan 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC01081A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2019, Advance Article

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    Transformable bubble-filled alginate microfibers via vertical microfluidics

    A. S. Chaurasia and S. Sajjadi, Lab Chip, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8LC01081A

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