Microfluidic Preparation of Monodisperse Multiple Emulsion using Hydrodynamic Control

미세채널에서 수력학적 조절을 통한 단분산성 다중 액적 생성

  • Kang, Sung-Min (Department of Chemical Engineering, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Choi, Chang-Hyung (Department of Chemical Engineering, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Hwang, Sora (Department of Chemical Engineering, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Jung, Jae-Min (Department of Chemical Engineering, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, Chang-Soo (Department of Chemical Engineering, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2012.02.07
  • Accepted : 2012.03.11
  • Published : 2012.08.01


This study reports the microfluidic preparation of monodisperse multiple emulsions using hydrodynamic control. To generate multiple emulsions, we fabricate a microfluidic capillary device based on co-flowing stream without any surface modification of microchannels. Based on the system, we can successfully generate multiple emulsions (W/O/W) using water containing 0.5 wt% Tween 20, n-hexadecane with 5 wt% Span 80, and 10 wt% poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) aqueous solution, respectively. Furthermore, we control the number of inner droplets by modulation of flow rate of inner fluid at fixed flow rate of middle and outer fluid. The multiple emulsions having precisely controlled inner droplets' size and number can be applicable for multiple chemical reactions as an isolated microreactor.


Supported by : 충남대학교


  1. Chu, L. Y., Utada, A. S., Shah, R. K., Kim, J. W. and Weitz, D. A., "Controllable Monodisperse Multiple Emulsions," Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 46, 8970-8974(2007).
  2. Utada, A. S., Lorenceau, E., Link, D. R., Kaplan, P. D., Stone, H. A. and Weitz, D. A., "Monodisperse Double Emulsions Generated from a Microcapillary Device," Science, 308, 537-541(2005).
  3. Vasiljevic, D., Parojcic, J., Primorac, M. and Vuleta, G., "An Investigation into the Characteristics and Drug Release Properties of Multiple W/O/W Emulsion Systems Containing low Concentration of Lipophilic Polymeric Emulsifier", Int. J. Pharm, 309(1-2), 171-177(2006).
  4. Yoshida, K., Sekine, T., Matsuzaki, F., Yanaki, T. and Yamaguchi, M., "Stability of Vitamin A in Oil-in-water-in-oil-type Multiple Emulsions," J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 76(2), 195-200(1999).
  5. Lee, M. H., Oh, S. G., Moon, S. K. and Bae, S. Y., "Preparation of Silica Particles Encapsulating Retinol Using O/W/O Multiple Emulsions," J. Colloid Interface Sci., 240(1), 83-89(2001).
  6. Kim, S. H., Jeon, S. J., Jeong, W. C., Park, H. S. and Yang, S. M., "Optofluidic Synthesis of Electroresponsive Photonic Janus Balls With Isotropic Structural Colors," Adv. Mater., 20(21), 4129-4134(2008).
  7. Davis, S. S. and Walker, I. M., "Multiple Emulsions as Targetable Delivery Systems," Methods Enzymol., 149, 51-64(1987).
  8. Lorenceau, E., Utada, A. S., Link, D. R., Cristobal, G., Joanicot, M. and Weitz, D. A., "Generation of Polymersomes from Double- emulsion," Langmuir, 21(20), 9183-9186(2005).
  9. Pays, K., Giermanska-Kahn, J., Pouligny, B., Bibette, J. and Leal- Calderon, F., "Double Emulsion: How Does Release Occur?," J. Controlled Release, 79, 193-205(2002).
  10. Mason, T. G. and Bibette, J., "Shear Rupturing of Droplets in Complex Fluids," Langmuir, 13(17), 4600-4613(1997).
  11. Schmitt, V., Leal-Calderon, F. and Bibette, J., "Preparation of Monodisperse Particles and Emulsions by Controlled Shear," Top. Curr. Chem., 227, 195-215(2003).
  12. Goubault, C., Pays, K., Olea, D., Gorria, P., Bibette, J., Schmitt, V. and Leal-Calderon, F., "Shear Rupturing of Complex Fluids: Application to the Preparation of Quasi-monodisperse Water-inoil-in-water Double Emulsions," Langmuir, 17, 5184-5188(2001).
  13. Matsumoto, S., Kita, Y. and Yonezawa, D., "An Attempt at Preparing Water-in-oil-in-water Multiple-phase Emulsions," J. Colloid Interface Sci., 57, 353-361(1976).
  14. Nakashima, T., Shimizu, M. and Kukizaki, M., "Particle Control of Emulsion by Membrane Emulsification and its Application," Adv. Drug Delivery Rev., 45, 47-56(2000).
  15. Nie, Z. H., Xu, S. Q., Seo, M., Lewis, P. C. and Kumacheva, E., "Polymer Particles with Various Shapes and Morphologies Produced in Continuous Microfluidic Reactors," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 127(22), 8058-8063(2005).
  16. Vladisvljevic, G. T., Shimizu, M. and Nakashima, T., "Production of Multiple Emulsions for Drug Delivery Systems by Repeated SPG Membrane Homogenization: Influence of Mean Pore Size, Interfacial Tension and Continuous Phase Viscosity," J. Membr. Sci., 284(1-2), 373-383(2006).
  17. Choi, C. H., Yi, H., Hwang, S., Weitz, D. A. and Lee, C. S., "Microfluidic Fabrication of Complex-shaped Microfibers by Liquid Template-aided Multiphase Microflow," Lab Chip, 11(8), 1477-1483(2011).
  18. Jung, J. H., Choi, C. H., Hwang, T. S. and Lee, C. S., "Efficient in situ Production of Monodisperse Polyurethane Microbeads in Microfluidic Device Using Increase of Residence Time of Droplets", Biochip Journal, 3(1), 44-49(2009).
  19. Jung, J. H., Choi, C. H., Hwang, T. S. and Lee, C. S., "In situ Microfluidic Synthesis of Monodisperse PEG Microspheres," Macromol. Res., 17(3), 163-167(2009).
  20. Choi, C. H., Jung, J. H., Yoon, T. H., Kim, D. P. and Lee, C. S., "The Effect of Microfluidic Geometry for in situ Generating Monodispersed Hydrogels," J. Chem. Eng. Jpn., 41(7), 649-654(2008).
  21. Whitesides, G. M., "The Origins and the Future of Microfluidics," Nature, 442(7101), 368-373(2006).
  22. Jung, J. H. and Lee, C. S., "Droplet Based Microfluidic System," Korean Chem. Eng. Res. (HWAHAK KONGHAK), 48, 545-555(2010).
  23. Kobayashi, I., Uemura, K. and Nakajima, M., "Formulation of Monodisperse Emulsions Using Submicron-channel Arrays," Colloids Surf. A: Physicochem Eng. Asp., 296(1-3), 285-289(2007).
  24. Fair, R., "Digital Microfluidics: Is a True Lab-on-a-chip Possible?", Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 3(3), 245-281(2007).
  25. Duffy, D. C., McDonald, J. C., Schueller, O. J. A. and Whitesides, G. M., "Rapid Phototyping of Microfluidic Systems in Poly(dimethylsiloxane)," Anal Chem, 70(23), 4974-4984(1998).
  26. Hwang, S., Choi, C. H., Kim, H. C., Kim, I. H. and Lee, C. S., "In situ Microfluidic Method for the Generation of Monodisperse Double Emulsions," Polymer(Korea), 36, 1-5(2012).
  27. Umbanhowar, P. B., Prasad, V. and Weitz, D. A., "Monodisperse Emulsion Generation Via Drop Break off in a Coflowing Stream," Langmuir, 16(2), 347-351(2000).

Cited by

  1. Lysozyme Crystallization in Droplet-based Microfluidic Device vol.51, pp.6, 2013,
  2. Microfluidic Design of Complex Emulsions vol.15, pp.1, 2014,
  3. Stagnation of Droplet for Efficient Merging in Microfluidic System vol.52, pp.1, 2014,
  4. Increase in Voltage Efficiency of Picoinjection using Microfluidic Picoinjector Combined Faraday Moat with Silver Nanoparticles Electrode vol.53, pp.4, 2015,