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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 Sep;84(3 Pt 1):031502. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Efficient encapsulation with plug-triggered drop formation.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA. adam.abate@ucsf.edu

Abstract

Monodisperse microscale drops formed with microfluidic devices are useful for encapsulating cells, microgel particles, or even additional drops. These techniques are thus useful for applications ranging from high-throughput biology to monodisperse particle and capsule synthesis, which require encapsulation of such objects. However, it is challenging to efficiently encapsulate the objects in all drops; often, the objects are encapsulated inefficiently, resulting in many improperly filled, unusable drops. Here, we describe a phenomenon that allows very efficient encapsulation. We use the inflow of the object to plug the drop maker nozzle; the continued injection of the outer phase pinches off a drop, thereby encapsulating the object; this yields precisely one object encapsulated per drop.

PMID:
22060374
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevE.84.031502

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