University of Oulu

Kalantarifard, A., Alizadeh-Haghighi, E., Saateh, A., & Elbuken, C. (2021). Theoretical and experimental limits of monodisperse droplet generation. In Chemical Engineering Science (Vol. 229, p. 116093). Elsevier BV.

Theoretical and experimental limits of monodisperse droplet generation

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Author: Kalantarifard, Ali1; Alizadeh-Haghighi, Elnaz1; Saateh, Abtin1;
Organizations: 1Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM), Bilkent University, Ankara 06800, Turkey
2Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-09-06


Droplet microfluidic systems are becoming routine in advanced biochemical studies such as single cell gene expression, immuno profiling, precise nucleic acid quantification (dPCR) and particle synthesis. For all these applications, ensuring droplet monodispersity is critical to minimize the uncertainty due to droplet volume variation. Despite the wide usage of droplet-based microfluidic systems, the limit of monodispersity for droplet generation systems is still unknown. Here, we present an analytical approach that takes into account all the system dynamics and internal/external factors that disturb monodispersity. Interestingly, we are able to model the dynamics of a segmented two-phase flow system using a single-phase flow analogy, electron flow, in electrical circuits. We offer a unique solution and design guidelines to ensure ultra-monodisperse droplet generation. Our analytical conclusions are experimentally verified using a T-junction droplet generator. Equally importantly, we show the limiting experimental factors for reaching the theoretical maximum of monodispersity.

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Series: Chemical engineering science
ISSN: 0009-2509
ISSN-E: 1873-4405
ISSN-L: 0009-2509
Volume: 229
Article number: 116093
DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2020.116093
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Funding: This project was partially supported by TÜBITAK (no. 215E086). C.E acknowledges the support from The Science Academy, Turkey through the Young Scientist Award Program.
Copyright information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license