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Double Emulsions

Microfluidics allows the production of highly monodisperse water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) or oil-in-water-in-oil (O/W/O) droplets in a single step. Droplet systems enable a high degree of control over droplet size, volume ratios of inner and outer droplets and easy analysis of droplets with automated software. A combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic chip surfaces and a range of surfactants help stabilize the two fluid interfaces for longer stability of manufactured products. Double emulsions can be used as a taste masker for food industry, as a carrier of active ingredients for cosmetics or controlled drug delivery, to enable sorting of encapsulated cells via flow cytometry, and as intermediate systems in the preparation of microspheres or nanospheres.

Microfluidics for double emulsion production

  • Highly consistent monodisperse droplets: high control of droplet sizes from 2 µm to 250 µm in diameter
  • Easy droplet manipulation: precise control over inner and outer droplet size, production frequency and droplet analysis using automated software
  • Long shelf-life stability: a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces and a range of surfactants help stabilize the two fluid interfaces of manufactured products for longer storage of droplets
  • Complete off-the shelf system: all the chips, connectors, pumps, monitoring software required in an easy system
  • Easy scale-up: reliable continuous double emulsions production enables industry scale manufacturing
  • Reliable and easy to use: modular, easy to set up and use, tool-free connections


  • Drug delivery systems: used for sustained and prolonged drug release
  • Industrial cosmetics: used as a carrier of the active ingredient
  • Food processing: used for low fat content (air filled fat particles)
  • Flow cytometry: used in FACS machines for in-vitro compartmentalization and directed evolution studies
  • Microspheres synthesis: used in bio-adhesive microspheres, magnetic microspheres, floating microspheres and radioactive microspheres
Methods of forming double emulsions using microfluidics

Dolomite Droplet Junction chips are normally mounted in a chip holder, using the linear connector for inlet and outlet of fluids. The chip holder is designed to fit two different droplet chips in series for the generation of different types of emulsions.

By selecting one hydrophobic coated chip (Chip1) and one plain glass chip (Chip 2), desired water/oil/water droplets could be generated in this chip set. Reversing the order of the chips would allow oil/water/oil droplets to be created.



DE Type

Inner fluid

Middle Fluid

Outer Fluid

Chip 1 + Chip 2

(in series on chip holder)




Nitrogen Gas


Mineral Oil + 2 % SPAN-80




Hydrophobic + Hydrophilic



Mineral Oil + 2 % SPAN-80

Water + 2 % PVA

Hydrophobic + Hydrophilic


Mineral Oil

Water + 2 % PVA

Mineral Oil + 2 % SPAN-80


Hydrophilic + Hydrophobic


Application Notes & Publications
  •  Poster: for W/O/W double emulsion production using Dolomite DE system: Generation of W/O/W double encapsulated emulsion using Dolomite Double Emulsion System. Download here..
  • Publication:  “Cytoskeletal Protein Expression and its Association within the Hydrophobic Membrane of Artificial Cell Models”. The authors used the DE system. Read here…
  • Technical Note: Double Emulsion Droplet generation and collection protocol Download here…
Videos & Images


Associated products

  • + Double Emulsions Systems

    Double Emulsions Systems

    Generate oil-water-oil or water-oil-water emulsions

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    Double Emulsions Systems

    The advanced Dolomite Double Emulsion Systems give users the possibility to generate highly monodisperse water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) or oil-in-water-in-oil (o/w/o) droplets. The versatile systems can be set-up for a one-step or a two-step double emulsion process, depending on the application. They allow precise control over droplet size, production rate, as well as volume ratios of inner and outer droplets. 

    • Reproducible and consistent production of double emulsions
    • Highly monodispersed droplets
    • Flexible system suitable for generating both w/o/w and o/w/o double emulsions in various sizes
    • One-step or two-step process achievable on the same system
    • Easy to set up and use
    • Modular to suit your application

    See our dedicated Applications webpage to learn more about Double Emulsions.

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