We report a new technique that, in contrast to conventional methods, uses a microfluidic platform for the fabrication of polymeric microcapsules that can contain sensitive biological materials. This encapsulation process is carried out through the use of hydrodynamic phenomena (e.g., multiphase laminar flow), and 'on the fly' photopolymerization. Our method allows for the generation of microcapsules whose size can be controlled by a regulation of flow rates, and the polymerized capsule can protect fragile materials, such as cells, DNA and enzymes from harsh environments. The proposed approach is extended to the fabrication of a microcontainer that can handle small volumes of liquid. The flexibility of the method across different materials and scales is a key advantage over many existing methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering