A Facile Route to the Synthesis of Monodisperse Nanoscale Liposomes Using 3D Microfluidic Hydrodynamic Focusing in a Concentric Capillary Array
Wyatt N. Vreeland, Renee R. Hood, Don L. DeVoe, Francisco J. Atencia, Donna M. Omiatek
A novel microscale device has been developed to enable the one-step continuous flow assembly of monodisperse nanoscale liposomes using three-dimensional microfluidic hydrodynamic focusing (3D-MHF) in a radially symmetric capillary array. The 3D-MHF flow technique displays patent advantages over conventional methods for nanoscale liposome synthesis (i.e., bulk-scale alcohol injection and film hydration and extrusion) through the on-demand manufacture of consistently uniform liposomes at unparalleled rates (factor of 104 liposomes/min increase in production rate relative to state-of- the-art liposome production strategies). Liposomes produced by the 3D-MHF device are of tunable size and have a factor of two improvement in polydispersity over previous MHF methods which can be attributed to entirely radially symmetric diffusion of alcohol-solubilized lipid into an aqueous flow stream. Moreover, the 3D-MHF platform is simple to construct from low-cost, commercial parts, which obviaties the need for advanced microfabrication strategies necessitated by previous MHF nanoparticle synthesis platforms.