The production of double emulsions is a rapidly growing area of interest in applications as diverse as drug delivery, cosmetics and food production. Many commercially successful products contain double emulsion formulations, including paints and coatings, salad dressings, and drugs.

Double emulsions consist of a droplet encapsulated within a larger droplet dispersed in a bulk liquid. 

Compared to traditional batch methods of double emulsion formation, microfluidics offers a more time and cost efficient methodology. 

 

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Does size really matter?

In a single word, yes! Emulsion droplet size can impact how flavors and aromas are released from emulsions such as hot chocolate and mayonnaise. Size also impacts the speed at which drugs or agrochemicals are delivered and released, and the length of time needed between treatments.

 

How does microfluidic technology help?

Microfluidics provides a tool to manipulate liquids, gases, droplets, cell and particles within micro-channel geometries. The generation of droplets is a key application for microfluidics and is based on controlling the jetting to dripping transition when liquid droplets are pushed into a carrier fluid via a specific chip geometry. The droplets are stabilized using surfactants to avoid coagulation and separation.

Among its various advantages, microfluidic technology has the ability to create three-dimensional flow patterns that achieve precise control over immiscible and miscible fluid mixing. 

The microfluidic generation of double emulsions requires the droplet forming flow channels to have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties on separate surface sections. Depending on their arrangement they can be used to generate either water-oil-water (w/o/w) or oil-water-oil (o/w/o) droplet emulsions. 

Our microfluidic systems ensure droplet monodispersity and minimal wastage along with an effortless testing environment that provides straightforward scale-up ability.

Double emulsion formation using direct interface method

Microfluidic methods

To generate precise double emulsions, users can choose from two main microfluidic techniques:

  • Direct interface method – uses two droplet chips placed in series. Users create the first emulsion in the first chip and then shell this emulsion flowing the train of droplets within a second chip, which is attached and fluidically sealed to the first one. By changing the wetting properties of the two chips we can create w/o/w or o/w/o double emulsions.
  • Indirect interface method – this is similar to the example above, but the two microfluidic chips are separated by a tube. This second method is more suitable for multiple emulsion generation (more than one droplet confined in the inner phase).
Double Emulsions Microfluidic Solutions

System solutions

Dolomite’s Double Emulsion System is an exceptional solution for this application as it adapts varied microfluidic methods to generate monodisperse droplets, capsules, foams and emulsions, offering precise product characteristics reproducibility and effortless scale-up.

 

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Further reading

Double encapsulated emulsion generation using a novel dual chip design
Product Literature

Double encapsulated emulsion generation using a novel dual chip design

Read about our customer’s story and how our expertise assisted them with generation of w/o/w double encapsulated emulsions, using a Double Emulsion System.

Cytoskeletal protein expression and its association within the hydrophobic membrane of artificial cell models
Publications

Cytoskeletal protein expression and its association within the hydrophobic membrane of artificial cell models

Read about how our user applied the methodology to research the cytoskeletal protein expression and its association within the hydrophobic membrane of artificial cell models.

Microfluidic preparation and self diffusion PFG-NMR analysis of monodisperse w/o/w double emulsions
Publications

Microfluidic preparation and self diffusion PFG-NMR analysis of monodisperse w/o/w double emulsions

Read about how users produced double emulsions with an outer droplet size from 100 to 40 μm to perform pulsed-field gradient self-diffusion NMR experiments.

Want to know more about double emulsions?

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