Monodisperse Emulsions Templated By 3D-Structured Microparticles

Tech ID: 31974 / UC Case 2019-471-0


UCLA Researchers in the Departments of Bioengineering and Mathematics have developed a method to generate uniform, thermodynamically stabilized microdroplets with digitizable solid structures.


In standard emulsions, mixtures of different types of liquids result in non-uniform and continually changing droplet volumes. These mixtures are unpredictable and are inconsistent, resulting in varying results. There is a need for a way to generate uniform, monodisperse microdrop emulsions in a single step without complex instrumentation, allowing for its content to be equally mixed and dispersed throughout.


UCLA researchers have developed a method to generate uniform emulsions composed of small droplets formed through the action of mixing shaped microparticles with an oil and water solution. These droplets maintain a monodisperse state allowing for equal dispersion of its contents. This allows for these droplets to be easily contain uniform amounts of a desired material and creates a predictable and reliable systems for e.g. molecular or cellular analysis. In addition, due to the unique construction of these particles, the formation of an outer and inner layer allows for unique properties to be assigned depending on each layer’s content. Each compartment is chemically-defined and can be sized to hold only a single particle or cell, allowing for digitized solid substrates that can be barcoded for single-cell analysis to store information from reactions or impart new physical properties.


  • Microscale drop-carrier particles
    • “Lab-on-a-particle” technologies
  • Single Molecule Analysis
  • Small Droplet Laboratories
  • Small Volume Devices


  • Creates uniform drops
  • Thermodynamically stabilized microdroplets
  • Interior and exterior can be chemically modified separately
  • Digitized solid structure
  • Easily applied to multiple sources

Related Materials

State Of Development

Method has been successfully developed and tested.

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • Di Carlo, Dino

Other Information


Drop-Carrier Particles, Small Molecule Analysis, Small molecule laboratories, Microfluidics, Liquid particles, Small Volume,

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