Microfluidic Fabrication of Porous Polymer Microspheres: Dual Reactions in Single Droplets

Xiuqing Gong, Weijia Wen, Ping Sheng

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58 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the microfluidic fabrication of macroporous polymer microspheres via the simultaneous reactions within single droplets, induced by LTV irradiation. The aqueous phase of the reaction is the decomposition of H 2O2 to yield oxygen, whereas the organic phase is the polymerization of NO A 61, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), and tri (propylene glycol) diacrylate (TPGDA) precursors. We first used a liquid polymer precursor to encapsulate a multiple number of magnetic Fe3O 4 colloidal suspension (MCS) droplets in a core-shell structure, for the purpose of studying the number of such encapsulated droplets that can be reliably controlled through the variation of flow rates. It was found that the formation of one shell with one, two, three, or more encapsulated droplets is possible. Subsequently, the H2O2 solution was encapsulated in the same way, after which we investigated its decomposition under UV irradiation, which simultaneously induces the polymerization of the encapsulating shell. Because the H2O2 decomposition leads to the release of oxygen, porous microspheres were obtained from a combined H2O2 decomposition/polymer precursor polymerization reaction. The multiplicity of the initially encapsulated H2O 2 droplets ensures the homogeneous distribution of the pores. The pores inside the micrometer-sized spheres range from several micrometers to tens of micrometers, and the maximum internal void volume fraction can attain 70%, similar to that of high polymerized high internal phase emulsion (polyHIPE). © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7072-7077
Number of pages6
JournalLangmuir
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 2009

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