In-air microfluidics enables rapid fabrication of emulsions, suspensions, and 3D modular (bio)materials

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Abstract

Microfluidic chips provide unparalleled control over droplets and jets, which have advanced all natural sciences. However, microfluidic applications could be vastly expanded by increasing the per-channel throughput and directly exploiting the output of chips for rapid additive manufacturing. We unlock these features with in-air microfluidics, a new chip-free platform to manipulate microscale liquid streams in the air. By controlling the composition and in-air impact of liquid microjets by surface tension-driven encapsulation, we fabricate monodisperse emulsions, particles, and fibers with diameters of 20 to 300 mm at rates that are 10 to 100 times higher than chip-based droplet microfluidics. Furthermore, in-air microfluidics uniquely enables module-based production of three-dimensional (3D) multiscale (bio)materials in one step because droplets are partially solidified inflight and can immediately be printed onto a substrate. In-air microfluidics is cytocompatible, as demonstrated by additive manufacturing of 3D modular constructs with tailored microenvironments for multiple cell types. Its in-line control, high throughput and resolution, and cytocompatibility make in-air microfluidics a versatile platform technology for science, industry, and health care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaao1175
JournalScience advances
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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Microfluidics
Emulsions
Suspensions
Air
Cellular Microenvironment
Natural Science Disciplines
Health Care Sector
Surface Tension
Technology

Cite this

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title = "In-air microfluidics enables rapid fabrication of emulsions, suspensions, and 3D modular (bio)materials",
abstract = "Microfluidic chips provide unparalleled control over droplets and jets, which have advanced all natural sciences. However, microfluidic applications could be vastly expanded by increasing the per-channel throughput and directly exploiting the output of chips for rapid additive manufacturing. We unlock these features with in-air microfluidics, a new chip-free platform to manipulate microscale liquid streams in the air. By controlling the composition and in-air impact of liquid microjets by surface tension-driven encapsulation, we fabricate monodisperse emulsions, particles, and fibers with diameters of 20 to 300 mm at rates that are 10 to 100 times higher than chip-based droplet microfluidics. Furthermore, in-air microfluidics uniquely enables module-based production of three-dimensional (3D) multiscale (bio)materials in one step because droplets are partially solidified inflight and can immediately be printed onto a substrate. In-air microfluidics is cytocompatible, as demonstrated by additive manufacturing of 3D modular constructs with tailored microenvironments for multiple cell types. Its in-line control, high throughput and resolution, and cytocompatibility make in-air microfluidics a versatile platform technology for science, industry, and health care.",
author = "Visser, {Claas Willem} and Tom Kamperman and Karbaat, {Lisanne P.} and Detlef Lohse and Marcel Karperien",
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AU - Visser, Claas Willem

AU - Kamperman, Tom

AU - Karbaat, Lisanne P.

AU - Lohse, Detlef

AU - Karperien, Marcel

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