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J Manuf Process. 2012 Apr 1;14(2):98-106. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

Alginate Microsphere Fabrication Using Bipolar Wave-Based Drop-on-Demand Jetting.

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1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA.

Abstract

Scale-up microsphere fabrication with controllable microsphere size has always been an exciting manufacturing challenge. The objective of this study is to experimentally study the effects of material properties and operating conditions on the formability of alginate microspheres and the microsphere size during drop-on-demand (DOD)-based single nozzle jetting. Alginate microspheres have been fabricated using bipolar wave-based drop-on-demand jetting, and its formability and size have been studied especially as a function of sodium alginate and calcium chloride concentrations, voltage rise/fall times, dwell and echo times, excitation voltage amplitudes, and frequency. It is found that 1) the formability is sensitive to the sodium alginate and calcium chloride concentrations, dwell and echo voltages, and voltage dwell time; and the formability decreases with the sodium alginate concentration but increases with the calcium chloride concentration, dwell and echo voltages, and voltage dwell time; 2) the size is not sensitive to the sodium alginate and calcium chloride concentrations but increases first with the dwell time and then decreases; and 3) the size increases with the dwell and absolute echo voltage amplitudes.

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