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Lab Chip. 2009 Nov 21;9(22):3289-96. doi: 10.1039/b906514h. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Microfluidics with on-line dynamic light scattering for size measurements.

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  • 1LOF, UMR 5258 Rhodia-CNRS-Bordeaux 1, 178 avenue du Docteur Schweitzer, F-33608 Pessac cedex, France.


We present a detailed investigation on the feasibility of on-line dynamic light scattering measurements of colloidal sizes in a pressure-driven microfluidic flow. We review some theoretical arguments showing that such experiments are difficult to perform due to the Poiseuille flow that induces interferences of different Doppler shifts. Such a theoretical approach is however very useful to figure out the range of parameters where on-line size measurements are possible. We then build a dynamic light scattering setup around a microfluidic chip that enables us to estimate the size of Brownian scatterers flowing in PDMS-based microchannels, thus validating experimentally the theoretical estimations. We finally present a microfluidic chip that can mix two reactants in approximately 200 ms, and allows size measurements using dynamic light scattering at about 300 ms after complete mixing. Two applications are presented: the continuous monitoring of the viscosity of a two-fluid mixture, and the electrostatic co-assembly of oppositely charged nanoparticles and block copolymers.

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