High Throughput Microfluidic Reactors for Polymer Particle Synthesis


Microfluidics is behind the processing and manipulation of small (10-9 to 10-18 L) amounts of fluids, in channels with dimensions of tens to hundreds of microns. Microfluidic emulsification, for example, allows for the generation of droplets with precisely controlled composition, morphology and volume. Synthesis of these droplets has attracted great interest in materials and polymer science and has proved useful in pharmaceutical, food, nutrition and cosmetic markets. Microfluidic synthesis allows for the fabrication of new materials with specific and unique properties. Examples include silica colloids, microgels capsules and polymer particles with specific morphology.

Currently, the production rate of single microfluidic reactors is 3-5mL/hr which is unlikely to generate much commercial interest unless their productivity can be increased.


A group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto is developing multiple continuous microfluidic reactors and a process to scale up the synthesis of polymer particles. The target is to produce micro-beads with a narrow size distribution in the range from 10 to 500 microns, well defined structure and high conversion of monomer to polymer efficiency.


High throughput continuous microfluidic reactors have a clear advantage in the synthesis of polymer particles because of the control in the dimensions, shapes and structures that they provide and may have an important role in the fabrication of ion exchange resins, calibration standards, spacers for flat panel displays and switchable windows and in various biomedical applications. Patent Status

US applications have been filed.

Business Opportunity

The Innovations Group is seeking partners with specific expertise to participate in the creation of a start-up company around the technology being developed. The mission of the start-up will be to manufacture and sell high throughput/high productivity integrated microfluidic reactors for the fabrication of polymer particles.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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