Microfluidic EDGE emulsification: The importance of interface interactions on droplet formation and pressure stability

Sami Sahin*, Olesya Bliznyuk, Ana Rovalino Cordova, Karin Schroën

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fact that interactions of components with interfaces can influence processes is well-known; e.g. deposit accumulation on heat exchangers and membrane fouling lead to additional resistances against heat and mass transfer, respectively. In microfluidic emulsification, the situation is even more complex. Component accumulation at the liquid/liquid interface is necessary for emulsion stability, while undesired at the solid/liquid interface where it may change wettability. For successful emulsification both aspects need to be controlled, and that is investigated in this paper for o/w emulsification with microfluidic EDGE devices. These devices were characterised previously, and can be used to detect small wettability changes through e.g. the pressure stability of the device. We used various oil/emulsifier combinations (alkanes, vegetable oil, surfactants and proteins) and related droplet size and operational pressure stability to component interactions with the solid surface and liquid interface. Surfactants with a strong interaction with glass always favour emulsification, while surfactants that have week interactions with the surface can be replaced by vegetable oil that interacts strongly with glass, resulting in loss of emulsification. Our findings clearly show that an appropriate combination of construction material and emulsion components is needed to achieve successful emulsification in microfluidic EDGE devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26407
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

Cite this