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Lab Chip. 2010 Jul 21;10(14):1814-9. doi: 10.1039/c004046k. Epub 2010 May 5.

Hydrophilic PDMS microchannels for high-throughput formation of oil-in-water microdroplets and water-in-oil-in-water double emulsions.

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Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, UK CB2 1EW.


Here we present a novel surface modification method based on the sequential layer-by-layer deposition of polyelectrolytes yielding hydrophilic microchannels in PDMS-based microfluidic devices. The coatings are long-term stable and allow for the generation of monodisperse oil-in-water microdroplets even several months after the channel surface treatment. Due to the robustness of the polyelectrolyte multilayers ultra-high flow rates can be applied, making high-throughput droplet formation in the jetting mode possible. Furthermore, we successfully used our method to selectively modify the surface properties in certain areas of assembled microchannels. The resulting partially hydrophilic, partially hydrophobic microfluidic devices allow for the production of monodisperse water-in-oil-in-water double emulsions.


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