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Biomedical Microdevices

, 9:833 | Cite as

Multiple-channel emulsion chips utilizing pneumatic choppers for biotechnology applications

  • Yen-Heng Lin
  • Cheng-Tso Chen
  • Lynn L. H. Huang
  • Gwo-Bin Lee
Article

Abstract

The formation of micro-scale monodispersed emulsions is crucial for a variety of applications such as cosmetics, food industry and biotechnology. In this study, a new microfluidic chip with a multiple-channel layout for high-throughput emulsions is reported. This chip generated fine-tuned and uniform microdroplets in liquids with a higher throughput for emulsification applications. It employed a combination of multiple hydrodynamic flow focusing and liquid-cutting devices called “active pneumatic choppers.” Experimental data indicated that oil-in-water microdroplets with diameters ranging from 6 to 120 μm can be successfully generated with a coefficient of variation less than 3.75%. The size of the droplets can be actively fine-tuned by using two approaches by adjusting relative sheath/sample flow velocity ratios and chopping frequency. Finally, two commonly used biocompatible materials, including collagen and calcium-alginate (Ca-alginate), were used to form microspheres by utilizing the liquid-cutting technique. The developed microfluidic chip is promising in various applications including biotechnology, nano-medicine and cosmetics.

Keywords

Emulsification Choppers Hydrodynamic flow focusing Microdroplet Microfluidics MEMS Collagen Alginate 

Nomenclature

Ca

calcium

CCD

charge-coupled device

DI water

deionized water

DNA

deoxyribonucleic acid

EMV

electromagnetic valve

fEMV

operating frequency of EMV

HLB

hydrophilic lipophilic balance

MEMS

micro-electro-mechanical-systems

Na

sodium

PDMS

polydimethylsiloxane

PCR

polymerase chain reaction

SEM

scanning electron microscope

V1

sample flow velocity

V2

sheath flow velocity

o/w

oil-in-water

w/o

water-in-oil

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank partial financial support from the National Science Council in Taiwan. Access to major fabrication equipment at the Center for Micro/Nano Technology Research, National Cheng Kung University is also greatly appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yen-Heng Lin
    • 1
  • Cheng-Tso Chen
    • 1
  • Lynn L. H. Huang
    • 2
  • Gwo-Bin Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering ScienceNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanRepublic of China
  2. 2.Institute of BiotechnologyNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanRepublic of China

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