Advances in microfluidic synthesis and coupling with synchrotron SAXS for continuous production and real-time structural characterization of nano-self-assemblies

İlhan Ayışığı E. , Yaldiz B., Bor G., Yaghmur A., Yeşil Çeliktaş Ö.

COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B-BIOINTERFACES, vol.201, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 201
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2021.111633


Microfluidic platforms have become highly attractive tools for synthesis of nanoparticles, including lipid nano-self-assemblies, owing to unique features and at least three important aspects inherent to miniaturized micro-devices. Firstly, the fluids flow under controlled conditions in the microchannels, providing well-defined flow profiles and shorter diffusion lengths that play important roles in enhancing the continuous production of lipid and polymer nanoparticles with relatively narrow size distributions. Secondly, various geometries adapted to microfluidic device designs can be utilized for enhancing the colloidal stability of nanoparticles and improving their drug loading. Thirdly, microfluidic devices are usually compatible with in situ characterization methods for real-time monitoring of processes occurring inside the microchannels. This is unlike conventional nanoparticle synthesis methods, where a final solution or withdrawn aliquots are separately analysed. These features inherent to microfluidic devices provide a tool-set allowing not only precise nanoparticle size control, but also real-time analyses for process optimization. In this review, we focus on recent advances and developments in the use of microfluidic devices for synthesis of lipid nanoparticles. We present different designs based on hydrodynamic flow focusing, droplet-based methods and controlled microvortices, and discuss integration of microfluidic platforms with synchrotron small-angle X ray scattering (SAXS) for in situ structural characterization of lipid nano-self-assemblies under continuous flow conditions, along with major challenges and future directions in this research area.