Manipulating and quantifying temperature-triggered coalescence with microcentrifugation

Huanhuan Feng Huanhuan, D.S. Ershov, T. Krebs, C.G.P.H. Schroën, M.A. Cohen Stuart, J. van der Gucht, J.H.B. Sprakel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we describe a new approach to quantify the stability and coalescence kinetics of thermally switchable emulsions using an imaging-based microcentrifugation method. We first show that combining synchronized high-speed imaging with microfluidic centrifugation allows the direct measurement of the thermodynamic stability of emulsions, as expressed by the critical disjoining pressure. We apply this to a thermoresponsive emulsion, allowing us to measure the critical disjoining pressure as a function of temperature. The same method, combined with quantitative image analysis, also gives access to droplet-scale details of the coalescence process. We illustrate this by measuring temperature-dependent coalescence rates and by analysing the temperature-induced switching between two distinct microscopic mechanisms by which dense emulsions can destabilise to form a homogeneous oil phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • disjoining pressure
  • droplet formation
  • emulsions

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