In-situ photopolymerization of monodisperse and discoid oxidized methacrylated alginate microgels in a microfluidic channel

S Wang, O Jeon, PG Shankles, Y Liu, E Alsberg, ST Retterer, BP Lee, and CK Choi
January 21, 2016
Biomicrofluidics, 10, 011101, 2016.

We present a simple microfluidic technique to in-situ photopolymerize (by 365 nm ultraviolet) monodisperse oxidized methacrylated alginate (OMA) microgels using a photoinitiator (VA-086). By this technique, we generated monodisperse spherical OMA beads and discoid non-spherical beads with better shape consistency than ionic crosslinking methods do. We found that a high monomer concentration (8w/v%), a high photoinitiator concentration (1.5w/v%) and absence of oxygen are critical factors to cure OMA microgels. This photopolymerizing method is an alternative to current methods to form alginate microgels and is a simpler approach to generate non-spherical alginate microgels.

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