Emulsions are commonly used in food products, cosmetics, paint, etc.
Polymer microspheres have applications in, for example, drug delivery
and tissue engineering. A challenge in creating polymer microspheres
and emulsions is minimizing the polydispersity of the particles. The
particles tend to have inconsistent size, shape and mass distribution.
Silk is often used commercially as an emulsion, and has been demonstrated to be an extremely effective polymer for drug delivery. Microfluidic devices that produce microsphere have been demonstrated in the past. However, it has been difficult to produce particles with a consistent size and shape known as monodisperse particles.
Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a microfluidic methodology for producing monodisperse silk microspheres. The unique chemistry and method enables production of exact microsphere diameter and percent of crystallinity. Both the microsphere and crystallinity can be precisely adjusted which can be used in for a variety of applications. It is particularly useful to vary drug release characteristics in a drug delivery system.
- Drug Delivery
- Tissue Engineering
- Cosmetics, food additives, and emulsions
- Exact microsphere diameter and percent of crystallinity
- Tunable particle size and tunable crystallinity
- Particle size homogeneity