DROPLETS GENERATION & MANIPULATION
Droplets-based microfluidics consists in manipulating discrete volumes of fluids in immiscible phase, such as water droplets in oil.
The generation and manipulation of droplets through microfluidics offer tremendous advantages: better control over small volumes of fluid, enhanced mixing, high throughput experiments.
Droplets generation has a large scale of applications, such as:
Emulsions and foams, Nanoparticles fabrication, Cell Encapsulation, Drug delivery ….
Microfluidic droplets generation systems are used to create monodispersed water or oil droplets in an immiscible phase. In passive droplets production methods, the key principle is to use at least two streams of immiscible fluids and to create a shear force on one of the phases in order to break the stream in discrete droplets.
They are two main motivations for creating microfluidic droplets. The first one is to generate droplets with a very high monodispersity, and microfluidic offers very consistent size of droplets, contrary to conventional batch methods for emulsion productions. Material science applications, such as food or pharmaceutical industries, greatly benefit from these new microfluidic techniques.
The second one is to compartmentalize a given sample. Microfluidic droplets are then a way to manipulate very small and precise volumes of samples, but also to realize high throughput experiments, as each droplet become a distinct microreactor. Moreover, droplets are a way to enhance mixing of chemical and overcome one of the most fundamental issue of single phase microfluidics.
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