Microfluidic Manufacturing of Polymeric Nanoparticles: Comparing Flow Control of Multiscale Structure in Single-Phase Staggered Herringbone and Two-Phase Reactors

Date

2016

Authors

Xu, Zheqi
Lu, Changhai
Riordan, Jason
Sinton, David
Moffitt, Matthew G.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Langmuir

Abstract

We compare the microfluidic manufacturing of polycaprolactone-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PCL-b-PEO) nanoparticles (NPs) in a single-phase staggered herringbone (SHB) mixer and in a two-phase gas–liquid segmented mixer. NPs generated from two different copolymer compositions in both reactors and at three different flow rates, along with NPs generated using a conventional bulk method, are compared with respect to morphologies, dimensions, and internal crystallinities. Our work, the first direct comparison between alternate microfluidic NP synthesis methods, shows three key findings: (i) NP morphologies and dimensions produced in the bulk are different from those produced in a microfluidic mixer, whereas NP crystallinities produced in the bulk and in the SHB mixer are similar; (ii) NP morphologies, dimensions, and crystallinities produced in the single-phase SHB and two-phase mixers at the lowest flow rate are similar; and (iii) NP morphologies, dimensions, and crystallinities change with flow rate in the two-phase mixer but not in the single-phase SHB mixer. These findings provide new insights into the relative roles of mixing and shear in the formation and flow-directed processing of polymeric NPs in microfluidics, informing future reactor designs for manufacturing NPs of low polydispersity and controlled multiscale structure and function.

Description

Keywords

Citation

Xu, Z., Lu, C., Riordan, J., Sinton, D., & Moffitt, M. G. (2016). Microfluidic Manufacturing of Polymeric Nanoparticles: Comparing Flow Control of Multiscale Structure in Single-Phase Staggered Herringbone and Two-Phase Reactors. Langmuir, 32(48), 12781-12789. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b03243.