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Nano Lett. 2008 Sep;8(9):2906-12. doi: 10.1021/nl801736q. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

Microfluidic platform for controlled synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


A central challenge in the development of drug-encapsulated polymeric nanoparticles is the inability to control the mixing processes required for their synthesis resulting in variable nanoparticle physicochemical properties. Nanoparticles may be developed by mixing and nanoprecipitation of polymers and drugs dissolved in organic solvents with nonsolvents. We used rapid and tunable mixing through hydrodynamic flow focusing in microfluidic channels to control nanoprecipitation of poly(lactic- co-glycolic acid)- b-poly(ethylene glycol) diblock copolymers as a model polymeric biomaterial for drug delivery. We demonstrate that by varying (1) flow rates, (2) polymer composition, and (3) polymer concentration we can optimize the size, improve polydispersity, and control drug loading and release of the resulting nanoparticles. This work suggests that microfluidics may find applications for the development and optimization of polymeric nanoparticles in the newly emerging field of nanomedicine.

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