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High-throughput, highly parallelized, uniform droplet generation

Description:

Integrated microfluidic fabrication to expand production to the industrial scale

 

Inventors

David Issadore, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical & Systems Engineering and Daeyeon Lee, Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

 

Problem

Droplet-based microfluidics are being adopted in industry for materials synthesis and point-of-care diagnostic assays, but are limited by low-throughput and low flow rates, preventing the transition to the scale needed for industrial production.  Previous work in the field has achieved success in parallelizing droplet generation, but requires aligning and bonding multiple pieces within the device.  A streamlined, robust manufacturing process with reliable fabrication is needed to advance the application of microfluidics fabrication of microparticles.
 

Solution

Researchers in the Issadore and Lee labs have designed and tested a microfluidic chip for high yield synthesis of uniform droplets, improving the architecture and fabrication methods from an earlier generation of their technology.  The capability has been expanded up to 1000 droplet makers in parallel using a single elastomer piece of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) to eliminate the need for alignment and bonding of multiple components, a problem encountered in the parallelization of droplet generators.  The single piece of PDMS will not delaminate at high pressures (>100 psi).  The system can create single and double emulsions, gas bubbles, and core shells.  The researchers have demonstrated very high flow rates (> 3L/hour) of water-in-oil emulsion droplets, or on the order of >30 billion droplets/hour, which is 500x higher throughput than the previous generation with a multi-piece device.  A ladder geometry is adopted in each flow focusing generator to generate monodisperse droplets.

  

 

Advantages

•       Superior microfluidic control of fluid and particle shape

•       High-throughput production of monodisperse droplets

•       No alignment and bonding of multiple components; integrated network

•       Very high flow rates (up to 3 L / hour)

•       Rapid prototyping of device and reusable master

 

 

Applications

•       Diagnostics

•       Drug or high-throughput screening and time-release drugs

•       Pharmaceutical production

•       Synthetic biology

•       Cosmetics

•       Emulsions

•       Gas bubbles

•       Lab-on-a-chip devices

 

 

Stage of Development

•       Proof-of-concept testing and prototype developed

 

Intellectual Property

Provisional pending

 

Reference Media

Jeong HH et al.  Korean J. of Chem. Eng., 2016, p. 1-10.

Jeong HH et al.  Lab on a Chip, 2015, 15, p. 4387-4392.

Y Prize featured technology

 

Desired partnerships

• License

Co-development

 

 

Download PDF

 

Docket #  16-7651 


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Pamela Beatrice
Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
215-573-4513
beatricp@upenn.edu
Inventors:
David Issadore
Daeyeon Lee
Keywords: