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Upscaling production of droplets and magnetic particles with additive manufacturing

Abstract : Purpose Monodisperse microfluidic emulsions - droplets in another immiscible liquid - are beneficial to various technological applications in analytical chemistry, material and chemical engineering, biology and medicine. Upscaling the mass production of micron-sized monodisperse emulsions, however, has been a challenge because of the complexity and technical difficulty of fabricating or upscaling three-dimensional (3 D) microfluidic structures on a chip. Therefore, the authors develop a fluid dynamical design that uses a standard and straightforward 3 D printer for the mass production of monodisperse droplets. Design/methodology/approach The authors combine additive manufacturing, fluid dynamical design and suitable surface treatment to create an easy-to-fabricate device for the upscaling production of monodisperse emulsions. Considering hydrodynamic networks and associated flow resistance, the authors adapt microfluidic flow-focusing junctions to produce (water-in-oil) emulsions in parallel in one integrated fluidic device, under suitable flow rates and channel sizes. Findings The device consists of 32 droplet-makers in parallel and is capable of mass-producing 14 L/day of monodisperse emulsions. This convenient method can produce 50,000 millimetric droplets per hour. Finally, the authors extend the current 3 D printed fluidics with the generated emulsions to synthesize magnetic microspheres. Originality/value Combining additive manufacturing and hydrodynamical concepts and designs, the authors experimentally demonstrate a facile method of upscaling the production of useful monodisperse emulsions. The design and approach will be beneficial for mass productions of smart and functional microfluidic materials useful in a myriad of applications.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03378168
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 2:57:42 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 11:57:11 AM

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Donatien Mottin, Tsaihsing Martin Ho, Peichun Amy Tsai. Upscaling production of droplets and magnetic particles with additive manufacturing. Rapid Prototyping Journal, Emerald, 2021, 27 (9), pp.1693-1699. ⟨10.1108/RPJ-12-2020-0320⟩. ⟨hal-03378168⟩

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