Jeremy Steinbacher - Simplified Mesofluidic Systems for the Formation of Micron to Millimeter Droplets and the Synthesis of Materials

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information): Steinbacher, Jeremy, Lui, Yankai, Mason,   Brian, Olbricht, William, McQuade, D. Tyler,   2012, 2 (2), pp 56-62

      Abstract: We present and validate simple   mesofluidic devices for producing monodisperse droplets and   materials. The significance of this work is a demonstration that   simple and complex droplet formulations can be prepared uniformly   using off-the-shelf small-diameter tubing, barbed tubing   adapters, and needles. With these simple tools, multiple   droplet-forming devices and a new particle concentrator were   produced and validated. We demonstrate that the droplet-forming   devices could produce low-dispersity particles from 25 to 1200 Km   and that these results are similar to results from more   complicated devices. Through a study of the fluid dynamics and a   dimensional analysis of the data, we have correlated droplet size   with two dimensionless groups, capillary number and viscosity   ratio. The flowfocusing device is more sensitive to both   parameters than the T-junction geometry. The modular character of   our mesofluidic devices allowed us to rapidly assemble compound   devices that use flow-focusing and T-junction devices in series   to create complex droplet-in-microcapsule materials. This work   demonstrates that flow chemistry does not require complicated   tools, and an inexpensive tool-kit can allow anyone with interest   to enter the field.

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