In this project, a flow focusing technique is used to produce spherical flexible particles with sizes of a few microns (around 7 microns in diameter). The liquid is injected through a hypodermic needle to form a film/reservoir over the needle’s outer surface. This film flows towards the needle tip until a liquid ligament is steadily ejected thanks to the action of a coflowing viscous liquid stream. The outcome is a capillary jet which breaks up into droplets producing a micrometer emulsion. The liquid droplets in the solution are cured into solid microparticles.
We are studying the size distribution of the particles before and after curing (degree of monodispersity), the shrinkage while curing, the addition of colour, the production by using other silicones and materials, etc. These microparticles can be used in very varied technological fields, such as biomedicine, biotechnology, pharmacy, and industrial engineering.