Open Access
Micro segmented flow-functional elements and biotechnical applications
Yonggang Zhu1,2,3,4,*,Nan Wu1,5,Christopher J. Easton5
Microfluidics Laboratory, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Private Bag 33, Clayton South MDC, VIC 3168, Australia
Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, 151 Wellington Road, Clayton, Melbourne, Vic 3168, Australia
Swinbourne University of Technology, Hawthorne, Melbourne, Australia
Institute for Sustainability and Innovation, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne 8001, Australia
Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, ACT 0200, Australia
DOI: 10.2741/S373 Volume 5 Issue 1, pp.284-304
Published: 01 January 2013
*Corresponding Author(s):  
Yonggang Zhu

Microdroplets are widely used for industrial applications such as food, drug, biotechnology and new materials. This review will summarise the key development in microdrop technologies, especially double-emulsion droplet technologies, with a focus on microchip-based techniques. For completeness, the key topics in single emulsion droplets such as generation, control and application will be briefly presented first. Then the current microfluidic techniques for double emulsion generation will be reviewed. Several techniques for increasing the instability of double emulsions are discussed, followed by methods for measuring double emulsion properties such as stability, size and mass transfer between phases. Double emulsions have found use in many biomolecular applications that include drug delivery and protein engineering. A range of methods, e.g. liposomes, polymerosomes, polymer beads and colloidosomes-based emulsions, have been developed for drug delivery applications. The future work in the area would be the development of novel partition system that encloses the chemicals and biologicals effectively and novel control mechanism for advanced sorting and selection of droplets.

Key words

Double Emulsions, Microfluidics, Directed Evolution, Protein Expression, Drug Delivery, Review

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Yonggang Zhu, Nan Wu, Christopher J. Easton. Micro segmented flow-functional elements and biotechnical applications. Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar. 2013. 5(1); 284-304.