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Continuous-flow production of polymeric micelles in microreactors: experimental and computational analysis

Continuous-flow production of polymeric micelles in microreactors: experimental and computational analysis
Continuous-flow production of polymeric micelles in microreactors: experimental and computational analysis
We report the development of a microfluidic-based process for the production of polymeric micelles (PMs) in continuous-flow microreactors where Pluronic® tri-block copolymer is used as model polymeric biomaterial relating to drug delivery applications. A flow focusing configuration is used enabling a controllable, and fast mixing process to assist the formation of polymeric micelles through nanoprecipitation which is triggered by a solvent exchange process when organic solutions of the polymer mixed with a non-solvent. We experientially investigate the effect of polymer concentration, flow rate ratio and microreactor dimension on the PMs size characteristics. The mixing process within the microfluidic reactors is further analyzed by computational modeling in order to understand the hydrodynamic process and its implication for the polymeric micells formation process. The results obtained show that besides the effect of the flow rate ratio, the chemical environment in which the aggregation takes place plays an important role in determining the dimensional characteristics of the produced polymeric micelles. It is demonstrated that microfluidic reactors provide a useful platform for the continuous-flow production of polymeric micelles with improved controllability, reproducibility, and homogeneity of the size characteristics.
0021-9797
243-251
Capretto, Lorenzo
0f3586b5-1560-49c1-a76b-59e74ea600ef
Carugo, Dario
0a4be6cd-e309-4ed8-a620-20256ce01179
Cheng, Wei
ea96edaa-0e7f-4c5b-aae4-838d4cb32664
Hill, Martyn
0cda65c8-a70f-476f-b126-d2c4460a253e
Zhang, Xunli
d7cf1181-3276-4da1-9150-e212b333abb1
Capretto, Lorenzo
0f3586b5-1560-49c1-a76b-59e74ea600ef
Carugo, Dario
0a4be6cd-e309-4ed8-a620-20256ce01179
Cheng, Wei
ea96edaa-0e7f-4c5b-aae4-838d4cb32664
Hill, Martyn
0cda65c8-a70f-476f-b126-d2c4460a253e
Zhang, Xunli
d7cf1181-3276-4da1-9150-e212b333abb1

Capretto, Lorenzo, Carugo, Dario, Cheng, Wei, Hill, Martyn and Zhang, Xunli (2011) Continuous-flow production of polymeric micelles in microreactors: experimental and computational analysis. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 357 (1), 243-251. (doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2011.01.085). (PMID:21353232)

Record type: Article

Abstract

We report the development of a microfluidic-based process for the production of polymeric micelles (PMs) in continuous-flow microreactors where Pluronic® tri-block copolymer is used as model polymeric biomaterial relating to drug delivery applications. A flow focusing configuration is used enabling a controllable, and fast mixing process to assist the formation of polymeric micelles through nanoprecipitation which is triggered by a solvent exchange process when organic solutions of the polymer mixed with a non-solvent. We experientially investigate the effect of polymer concentration, flow rate ratio and microreactor dimension on the PMs size characteristics. The mixing process within the microfluidic reactors is further analyzed by computational modeling in order to understand the hydrodynamic process and its implication for the polymeric micells formation process. The results obtained show that besides the effect of the flow rate ratio, the chemical environment in which the aggregation takes place plays an important role in determining the dimensional characteristics of the produced polymeric micelles. It is demonstrated that microfluidic reactors provide a useful platform for the continuous-flow production of polymeric micelles with improved controllability, reproducibility, and homogeneity of the size characteristics.

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Published date: 2011

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 176803
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/176803
ISSN: 0021-9797
PURE UUID: 914cb169-c5d3-4aed-9061-b3d5b1896eda
ORCID for Martyn Hill: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6448-9448

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Date deposited: 11 Mar 2011 10:12
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:12

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Contributors

Author: Lorenzo Capretto
Author: Dario Carugo
Author: Wei Cheng
Author: Martyn Hill ORCID iD
Author: Xunli Zhang

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