, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 369-377
Date: 14 Nov 2008

Three-dimensional axisymmetric flow-focusing device using stereolithography

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Abstract

This paper describes a three-dimensional microfluidic axisymmetric flow-focusing device (AFFD) fabricated using stereolithography. Using this method, we can fabricate AFFDs rapidly and automatically without cumbersome alignment needed in conventional methods. The AFFDs are able to be fabricated reproducibly with a micro-sized orifice of diameter around 250 μm. Using this device, we are able to produce monodisperse water-in-oil (W/O) droplets with a coefficient of variation (CV) of less than 4.5%, W/O droplets with encapsulated microbes (CV < 4.9%) and oil-in-water (O/W) droplets (CV < 3.2%) without any surface modifications. The diameter of these droplets range from 54 to 244 μm with respect to the flow rate ratio of the fluids used; these results are in good agreement with theoretical behavior. For applications of the AFFD, we demonstrate that these devices can be used to produce double emulsions and monodisperse hydrogel beads.