Multiple-channel emulsion chips utilizing pneumatic choppers for biotechnology applications

Yen Heng Lin, Cheng Tso Chen, Lynn L.H. Huang, Gwo Bin Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations


The formation of micro-scale monodispersed emulsions is crucial for a variety of applications such as cosmetics, food industry and biotechnology. In this study, a new microfluidic chip with a multiple-channel layout for high-throughput emulsions is reported. This chip generated fine-tuned and uniform microdroplets in liquids with a higher throughput for emulsification applications. It employed a combination of multiple hydrodynamic flow focusing and liquid-cutting devices called "active pneumatic choppers." Experimental data indicated that oil-in-water microdroplets with diameters ranging from 6 to 120 μm can be successfully generated with a coefficient of variation less than 3.75%. The size of the droplets can be actively fine-tuned by using two approaches by adjusting relative sheath/sample flow velocity ratios and chopping frequency. Finally, two commonly used biocompatible materials, including collagen and calcium-alginate (Ca-alginate), were used to form microspheres by utilizing the liquid-cutting technique. The developed microfluidic chip is promising in various applications including biotechnology, nano-medicine and cosmetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-843
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alginate
  • Choppers
  • Collagen
  • Emulsification
  • Hydrodynamic flow focusing
  • MEMS
  • Microdroplet
  • Microfluidics


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