The Synthesis and Assembly of Polymeric Microparticles Using Microfluidics

Authors

  • Dhananjay Dendukuri,

    1. 66-270, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Department of Chemical Engineering MIT, Cambridge MA 02139 (USA)
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  • Patrick S. Doyle

    Corresponding author
    1. 66-270, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Department of Chemical Engineering MIT, Cambridge MA 02139 (USA)
    • 66-270, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Department of Chemical Engineering MIT, Cambridge MA 02139 (USA).
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The controlled synthesis of micrometer-sized polymeric particles bearing features such as nonspherical shapes and spatially segregated chemical properties is becoming increasingly important. Such particles can enable fundamental studies on self-assembly and suspension rheology, as well as be used in applications ranging from medical diagnostics to photonic devices. Microfluidics has recently emerged as a very promising route to the synthesis of such polymeric particles, providing fine control over particle shape, size, chemical anisotropy, porosity, and core/shell structure. This progress report summarizes microfluidic approaches to particle synthesis using both droplet- and flow-lithography-based methods, as well as particle assembly in microfluidic devices. The particles formed are classified according to their morphology, chemical anisotropy, and internal structure, and relevant examples are provided to illustrate each of these approaches. Emerging applications of the complex particles formed using these techniques and the outlook for such processes are discussed.

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