Parallelization of Microfluidic Droplet Junctions for Ultraviscous Fluids

Hyeon Ho Kim, Yong Deok Cho, Dongjae Baek, Kyung Hun Rho, Sung Hun Park, Seungwoo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The parallelization of multiple microfluidic droplet junctions has been successfully achieved so that the production throughput of the uniform microemulsions/particles has witnessed considerable progress. However, these advancements have been observed only in the case of a low viscous fluid (viscosity of 10−2–10−3 Pa s). This study designs and fabricates a microfluidic device, enabling a uniform micro-emulsification of an ultraviscous fluid (viscosity of 3.5 Pa s) with a throughput of ≈330 000 droplets per hour. Multiple T-junctions of a dispersed oil phase, split from a single inlet, are connected into the single post-crossflow channel of a continuous water phase. In the proposed device, the continuous water phase undergoes a series circuit, wherein the resistances are continuously accumulated. The independent corrugations of the dispersed oil phase channel, under the theoretical guidance, compromise such increased resistances; the ratio of water to oil flow rates at each junction becomes consistent across T-junctions. Owing to the design being based on a fully 2D interconnection, single-step soft lithography is sufficient for developing the full device. This easy-to-craft architecture contrasts with the previous approach, wherein complicated 3D interconnections of the multiple junctions are involved, thereby facilitating the rapid uptake of high throughput droplet microfluidics for experts and newcomers alike.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2205001
JournalSmall
Volume18
Issue number48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by 2019R1A2C2004846 (Midcareer researcher supporting project)/2022M3H4A1A02074314 (future technology laboratory program) funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea, the KU‐KIST School Project, and a Korea University grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

Keywords

  • droplet microfluidics
  • microlens arrays
  • Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
  • pressure drop
  • T-junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science

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