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.


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.
  • 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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