Generation of higher-order aqueous two-phase systems using a novel microfluidic device to use already phase-separated phases

Morteza Jeyhani, Risavarshni Thevakumaran, Niki Abbasi, Dae Kun Hwang, Scott S H Tsai

Summary

A hybrid microfluidic device used to generate higher-order phase separated all-in-water emulsions

Microfluidic Generation of All-Aqueous Double and Triple Emulsions.

Authors:
Morteza Jeyhani, PhD
Morteza Jeyhani, PhD
Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s Hospital
Droplet Microfluidics
Toronto, ON | Canada

Small 2020 Feb 27;16(7):e1906565. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canada.

Higher order emulsions are used in a variety of different applications in biomedicine, biological studies, cosmetics, and the food industry. Conventional droplet generation platforms for making higher order emulsions use organic solvents as the continuous phase, which is not biocompatible and as a result, further washing steps are required to remove the toxic continuous phase. Recently, droplet generation based on aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) has emerged in the field of droplet microfluidics due to their intrinsic biocompatibility. Here, a platform to generate all-aqueous double and triple emulsions by introducing pressure-driven flows inside a microfluidic hybrid device is presented. This system uses a conventional microfluidic flow-focusing geometry coupled with a coaxial microneedle and a glass capillary embedded in flow-focusing junctions. The configuration of the hybrid device enables the focusing of two coaxial two-phase streams, which helps to avoid commonly observed channel-wetting problems. It is shown that this approach achieves the fabrication of higher-order emulsions in a poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based microfluidic device, and controls the structure of the all-aqueous emulsions. This hybrid microfluidic approach allows for facile higher-order biocompatible emulsion formation, and it is anticipated that this platform will find utility for generating biocompatible materials for various biotechnological applications.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.201906565DOI Listing
February 2020
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