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Preparation of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications using glass capillary microfluidics

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journal contribution
posted on 18.08.2015, 15:44 by Rahimah Othman, Goran VladisavljevicGoran Vladisavljevic, Zoltan NagyZoltan Nagy
The aim of this study was to develop a new microfluidic approach for the preparation of nanoparticles with tuneable sizes based on micromixing/direct nanoprecipitation in a coaxial assembly of tapered-end glass capillaries. The organic phase was 1 wt% poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) or poly(dl-lactic acid) (PLA) in tetrahydrofuran and the antisolvent was Milli-Q water. The size of nanoparticles was precisely controlled over a range of 190–650 nm by controlling phase flow rates, orifice size and flow configuration (two-phase co-flow or counter-current flow focusing). Smaller particles were produced in a flow focusing device, because the organic phase stream was significantly narrower than the orifice and remained narrow for a longer distance downstream of the orifice. The mean size of PCL particles produced in a flow focusing device with an orifice size of 200 μm, an organic phase flow rate of 1.7 mL h−1 and an aqueous-to-organic flow rate ratio of 10 was below 200 nm. The size of nanoparticles decreased with decreasing the orifice size and increasing the aqueous-to-organic phase flow rate ratio. Due to higher affinity for water and amorphous structure, PLA nanoparticles were smaller and exhibited a smoother surface and more rounded shape than PCL particles.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support given for this work through the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. ZK Nagy would like to acknowledge financial support provided by the European Research Council Grant no. (280106-CrySys).



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Chemical Engineering Science




119 - 130


OTHMAN, R., VLADISAVLJEVIC, G.T. and NAGY, Z.K., 2015. Preparation of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications using glass capillary microfluidics. Chemical Engineering Science, 137, pp. 119 - 130.


© Elsevier


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Chemical Engineering Science and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2015.06.025