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Generation Of Monodisperse Particles By Using Microfluidics: Control Over Size, Shape, And Composition.

Shengqing Xu, Z. Nie, Minseok Seo, Patrick C. Lewis, E. Kumacheva, H. A. Stone, P. Garstecki, D. Weibel, I. Gitlin, G. Whitesides
Published 2005 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Herein we describe a versatile new strategy for producing monodisperse solid particles with sizes from 20 to 1000 mm. The method involves the formation of monodisperse liquid droplets by using a microfluidic device and shaping the droplets in a microchannel and then solidifying these drops in situ either by polymerizing a liquid monomer or by lowering the temperature of a liquid that sets thermally. This method has the following features: 1) It produces particles with an exceptionally narrow range of sizes. 2) A new level of control over the shapes of the particles is offered. 3) The mechanism for droplet formation allows the use of a wide variety of materials including gels, metals, polymers, and polymers doped with functional additives. 4) The procedure can be scaled up to produce large numbers of particles. A number of methods exist for making inorganic and organic particles with narrow polydispersity. Inorganic colloids are typically prepared by precipitation reactions from organometallic precursors. Polymer colloids with sizes from 20 nm to approximately 1 mm are usually prepared by a variation of emulsion polymerization techniques. Larger beads are accessible through miniemulsion polymerization,
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