Generation of Monodisperse Particles using Microfluidics: Control over Size, Shape and Composition

Summary The invention constitutes microfluidic methods of forming particles that are substantially monodisperse. The technology builds on the technology disclosed in Harvard Case: 2215 – "Method and Apparatus for Fluid Dispersion", which creates monodisperse fluid droplets in a microfluidic flow focusing device. The present invention expands that invention by: a) showing that monodisperse solid particles can be made from liquid droplets of material above its melting point by lowing the temperature below the melting point (example low melting solders), b) showing that having droplets larger than the microfluidic channels results in nonspherical shapes as rods or cylinders, and c) showing that one can form monodisperse core shell spherical particles by forming a liquid droplet containing one addition polymerization monomer (as well as any other material desired) and then adding to the continuous phase the second monomer. Addition polymerization occurs at the surface of the droplet to form the shelled particle (potentially useful to carry actives such as drugs, perfumes etc.) The mechanism for droplet formation makes it possible to use a wide variety of materials including gels, metals, and polymers.


* Demonstrated ability to control both the shape and size of the solidified beads. Including production of spheres, rods, disks, ellipsoids, core-shell particles, capsules and hemispheres.

* The technology is general and allows the usage of a wide variety of materials such as gels, metals and polymers.

* The procedure can be scaled up to produce large numbers of particles.

* The technology does not require moving parts which can be prone to failure and are in many cases not suitable for control of very small droplets.

Intellectual Property Status:

A US patent application, serial number 11/368263, has been filed by Harvard University and is pending.


Whitesides, M. G. et al. 2005, `Generation of Monodisperse Particles by Using Microfluidics: Control over Size, Shape, and Composition` Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 44, Issue 5, 724-728.

Applications manufacturing monodispersed particles, encapsulation For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Daniel Behr Email: Telephone: (617) 495-3067

Inventor(s): Whitesides, George M.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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