Monodisperse Microcapsules with a 3D Microfluidic Device

The NCCR Proof-of-Concept (PoC) project “Massive Production of Monodisperse Microcapsules with a 3D Microfluidic Device” has been granted to Alessandro Ofner at the ETH Zurich (Prof. A. Studart) with CHF 20’000. 

Prototype of a 2D microcapsule maker on glass (courtesy A. Ofner)The goal of the project is to develop a highly-parallelized three-dimensional microfluidic device to produce monodisperse droplets, microspheres and microcapsules at rates of 500-1000 g/h.  The state-of-the art for droplet and capsule production can make functional materials of almost every chemical at rates of up to 40 g/h; hence, with this proof-of-concept project there is a plan to increase production rates by at least an order of magnitude.  With this significant production of micro-encapsulated compounds, the vision is to bring microfluidics from the laboratory to industrial applications in fields ranging from pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences to cosmetics. The work is based on a recent published publication (Ofner et al., Macromol. Chem. Phys 2016), where a parallelization of droplet makers in a two dimensional array was already demonstrated. Several filed patents by the ETH Zurich protect this project.

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