Hydrogels

agaroseHydrogels are hydrophilic natural polymeric materials (proteins, polysaccharides) or synthetic polymeric materials (polyethylene glycol) made with a highly porous structure.

Microfluidics allows production of hydrogel particles in the range 5 µm to 500 µm diameter with exceptional control over size, shape and morphology. Generation of hydrogel beads using microfluidics also allows creation of more complex particles such as encapsulation/compartmentalisation of biological cells, DNA or nanoparticles inside each hydrogel bead or double emulsions for generating shelled particles and multicomponent droplet generation for Janus particles.

To find out more about this application, visit our dedicated biology focused website Dolomite Bio.

Dolomite droplet systems offer a range of benefits for hydrogel production:

  • Excellent control: precisely control and optimisation of the size, shape and morphology
  • Particle size range: create particles from 5 µm to 500 µm diameter ( +/- 10 %)
  • Produce wide range of particle types: simple hydrogel beads, encapsulations, double emulsions or nanoparticles through water evaporation
  • Systems for basic to advanced users: from basic starter systems ideal for initial trials, to advanced systems allowing complex upstream and downstream fluid processing
  • Straightforward scale up to production: conditions identified in the laboratory can be easily scaled up to a tonne per month
  • Easy to use: All of Dolomite’s products are designed to quickly connect together without the need for tools. Automation is also available.
Applications
  • Biomedical – separation of biomolecules for analysis, scaffolds for tissue engineering
  • Drug delivery – vehicle for drug delivery (in microparticle form)
  • Optics and fluidics – actuators for optics and fluidics
  • Biological studies – a model for extracellular matrices
Methods of Polymer Production
Polymer material Method of production Method of polymerization Particle Size (CV) Collateral
Agarose Droplet System (100 µm droplet chip) Heating/Cooling 35 – 140 µm (0.05) Agarose Bead Synthesis Application Note
Gelatin Droplet System (190 µm droplet chip) Cross Linking 150 – 250 µm (0.05) CHO Cell Encapsulation & Incubation Application Note
Polyethyleneglycol -diacrylate (PEGDA) Droplet System Photo polymerization 90 – 170 µm (0.05)  
Alginate Droplet System (100 µm droplet chip) Ca+ mediated Precipitation    
Videos & Images

Agarose Particle Production

This video is a short summary of the Agarose Bead Synthesis application note, describing the generation of agarose droplets at elevated temperature and subsequent cooling to form solid microparticles.

The system is based around a standardhydrophobic droplet junction chip. 

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