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3D printed reactor-in-a-centrifuge (RIAC): making flow-synthesis of nanoparticles pump-free and cost-effective

3D printed reactor-in-a-centrifuge (RIAC): making flow-synthesis of nanoparticles pump-free and cost-effective
3D printed reactor-in-a-centrifuge (RIAC): making flow-synthesis of nanoparticles pump-free and cost-effective

It is widely recognised that flow-reactors offer greater control over the stoichiometry of chemical reactions when compared to batch methods, since they provide finer and more predictable regulation over the transport of fluids and chemical species. These characteristics are of critical importance in the context of nanoparticle production, since the physical and chemical properties of the fluidic environment within a reactor strongly influence the size and/or shape of the end-product. In the past decade, replica moulding techniques (e.g., based on soft-lithography) have been developed to manufacture flow-reactors in a relatively cost-effective and efficient fashion. However, devices are often operated using multiple syringe pumps, and several of these techniques require laborious and multi-step procedures. In this study, we developed rapidly prototyped reactors embedded within a cylindrical structure that are designed for actuation using a laboratory centrifuge (herein referred to as reactor-in-a-centrifuge, or RIAC). Using RIACs of different architecture, we demonstrated production of nanoscale liposomes of therapeutically relevant size (in the diameter range 80 – 300 nm) under varying operating conditions. We also demonstrated production of silver nanospheres (with UV–vis absorption maxima of 404 nm) at selected operating conditions. The novel concept proposed in this study has the potential to significantly simplify the synthesis of nanomaterials over more commonly used microfluidic techniques, as it relies on a cost-effective and single-step reactor manufacturing process (using a desktop 3D printer) and employs widely available laboratory centrifuges to drive reagents through the reactor. In this paper we describe RIAC's design, manufacturing, and actuation protocols, and demonstrate its applicability to the flow synthesis of nanoparticles without relying on highly specialised instrumentation or costly procedures.

3D printing, Centrifuge, Flow-reactors, Liposomes, Rapid prototyping, Silver nanoparticles
1385-8947
Andrea Cristaldi, Domenico
b81e6466-0fce-4d0b-8112-f3c036da2ba8
Labanca, Alessio
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Donal Pottinger, Tomas
5a3e09ce-e0f4-4f55-aa77-211966f2e997
Owen, Joshua
4e7fc6bc-f2c5-4622-894f-9e811eca84cd
Stulz, Eugen
9a6c04cf-32ca-442b-9281-bbf3d23c622d
Zhang, Xunli
d7cf1181-3276-4da1-9150-e212b333abb1
Carugo, Dario
0a4be6cd-e309-4ed8-a620-20256ce01179
Andrea Cristaldi, Domenico
b81e6466-0fce-4d0b-8112-f3c036da2ba8
Labanca, Alessio
5ce8bd1c-6dda-4a62-bb6e-ce9d89974b29
Donal Pottinger, Tomas
5a3e09ce-e0f4-4f55-aa77-211966f2e997
Owen, Joshua
4e7fc6bc-f2c5-4622-894f-9e811eca84cd
Stulz, Eugen
9a6c04cf-32ca-442b-9281-bbf3d23c622d
Zhang, Xunli
d7cf1181-3276-4da1-9150-e212b333abb1
Carugo, Dario
0a4be6cd-e309-4ed8-a620-20256ce01179

Andrea Cristaldi, Domenico, Labanca, Alessio, Donal Pottinger, Tomas, Owen, Joshua, Stulz, Eugen, Zhang, Xunli and Carugo, Dario (2021) 3D printed reactor-in-a-centrifuge (RIAC): making flow-synthesis of nanoparticles pump-free and cost-effective. Chemical Engineering Journal, 425, [130656]. (doi:10.1016/j.cej.2021.130656).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is widely recognised that flow-reactors offer greater control over the stoichiometry of chemical reactions when compared to batch methods, since they provide finer and more predictable regulation over the transport of fluids and chemical species. These characteristics are of critical importance in the context of nanoparticle production, since the physical and chemical properties of the fluidic environment within a reactor strongly influence the size and/or shape of the end-product. In the past decade, replica moulding techniques (e.g., based on soft-lithography) have been developed to manufacture flow-reactors in a relatively cost-effective and efficient fashion. However, devices are often operated using multiple syringe pumps, and several of these techniques require laborious and multi-step procedures. In this study, we developed rapidly prototyped reactors embedded within a cylindrical structure that are designed for actuation using a laboratory centrifuge (herein referred to as reactor-in-a-centrifuge, or RIAC). Using RIACs of different architecture, we demonstrated production of nanoscale liposomes of therapeutically relevant size (in the diameter range 80 – 300 nm) under varying operating conditions. We also demonstrated production of silver nanospheres (with UV–vis absorption maxima of 404 nm) at selected operating conditions. The novel concept proposed in this study has the potential to significantly simplify the synthesis of nanomaterials over more commonly used microfluidic techniques, as it relies on a cost-effective and single-step reactor manufacturing process (using a desktop 3D printer) and employs widely available laboratory centrifuges to drive reagents through the reactor. In this paper we describe RIAC's design, manufacturing, and actuation protocols, and demonstrate its applicability to the flow synthesis of nanoparticles without relying on highly specialised instrumentation or costly procedures.

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Accepted/In Press date: 30 May 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 June 2021
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors would like to thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for supporting the research presented in this paper. Andrea Cristaldi’s PhD studentship was funded by an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) scheme at the University of Southampton. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s) Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: 3D printing, Centrifuge, Flow-reactors, Liposomes, Rapid prototyping, Silver nanoparticles

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450222
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450222
ISSN: 1385-8947
PURE UUID: 957fd558-5b89-49ab-b0b5-24641e6b8f6c
ORCID for Eugen Stulz: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5302-2276
ORCID for Xunli Zhang: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4375-1571

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jul 2021 16:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:52

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Contributors

Author: Domenico Andrea Cristaldi
Author: Alessio Labanca
Author: Tomas Donal Pottinger
Author: Joshua Owen
Author: Eugen Stulz ORCID iD
Author: Xunli Zhang ORCID iD
Author: Dario Carugo

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