Microfluidic system solutions for encapsulating an API in PLGA particles.

Drug microencapsulation using PLGA has become increasingly popular within drug formulation teams due to the ease of PLGA particle metabolism and the ease of controlling the release of the drug over time. The particles can also be coated to increase their blood circulation lifetime giving even more control over treatment dosing.

Ligands and antibodies can be grafted onto the particle surface to target specific sites for drug release. Our systems provide users with the ability to efficiently generate particles while precisely controlling their size and physical characteristics.



Microfluidic technology & benefits


Microfluidics, also known as a ‘lab-on-a-chip’, enables the precise control, manipulation and analysis of fluids in the microlitre to picolitre range. Furthermore, it allows the manipulation of living matter by mixing, separating and handling different components at a microscale.

Dolomite is pioneering the use of microfluidic devices for small-scale fluid control and analysis, enabling engineers and scientists to take full advantage of the following benefits:

Traditional methods (batch) Microfluidic methods
API Encapsulation efficiency up to 30% up to 99 %
Coefficient of variation (CV) up to 20% up to 1%
Particle size distribution Broad Narrow
Particle monodispersity Poor Narrow
Waste ~50% Near 0%
Reproducibility Low High
Particle size control Poor Precise
Microfluidic Drug (API) Encapsulation

API encapsulation in PLGA particles

The use of microfluidic devices for PLGA particle production for pharmaceutical applications brings advantages such as:

  • enhanced control over each stage of particle fabrication process
  • greater particle yields
  • ease of scale-up

Precise particle production is crucial in controlled drug release applications, where predictable degradation of PLGA is employed for sustained release, at desirable doses – especially for non-surgical implantation. In the case of targeted drug delivery, the particles accumulate in specific tissues using the Enhanced Permeability and Retention (EPR) effect, or as a result of particle surface functionalization by targeting species such as anti-bodies. It is possible to tune the release profiles from the polymer-drug matrix by controlling polymer molecular weight, ratio of lactide to glycolide, drug concentration and particle size.


Drug (API) Encapsulation Systems

System specifications

Droplet size

Particle size from 50 nm to 50 µm in diameter (depending on system version)

Droplet monodispersity

Extremely monodisperse, CV < up to 1%.

Droplet generation frequency Up to 10 kHz for a standard system and up to a MHz for a Telos® production system (depending on reagents and droplet sizes).
Flow rate range

From 70 nL/min to 5 mL/min, depending on pressure, viscosity and channel geometry (flow resistance).

Flow pressure

Flexible with vacuum and pressure capability in the same pump (pump pressure range: 0-10 bar). Pumps contain integrated reservoir to eliminate the risk of vial fracture in operation.

Chemical resistance

Very high (wetted materials: glass, PEEK, ETFE, FEP, PTFE).



Microfluidic High-Throughput System

Effortless production scale-up

Telos® High-Throughput Production Systems provide a controlled solution for scaling-up droplet, particles or emulsion manufacturing. Each Dolomite Microfluidic System has a flexible configuration which allows up to 10 Telos® Clamp Modules to be assembled in parallel, enabling identical conditions for scale-up of production rate for up to 500,000 monodisperse particles per second.


Further reading

Drug delivery studies

Drug delivery studies

A Dolomite microfluidic system is helping Dr Samar Damiati, Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry Department at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, perform drug encapsulation studies.

Continuous Microfluidic Synthesis of PLGA Nanoparticles by Hydrodynamic Flow Focusing
Application Notes

Continuous Microfluidic Synthesis of PLGA Nanoparticles by Hydrodynamic Flow Focusing

Methodology for fabrication of monodisperse PLGA nanoparticles with sizes ranging from 50 nm to 30 μm using the Hydrodynamic Flow Focusing Method on Dolomite's API Encapsulation System and a 5 Input Chip.

Continuous Microfluidic Synthesis of PLGA Microparticles by Droplet Method
Application Notes

Continuous Microfluidic Synthesis of PLGA Microparticles by Droplet Method

Methodology for fabrication of highly monodisperse PLGA beads with sizes ranging from 10 to 45μm using the Droplet Method on Dolomite’s API Encapsulation System and a 3D Flow Focusing Chip.

Interested to learn more about this system?