Microfluidic approaches for making nanoparticles
Microfluidic approaches for making nanoparticles

Project keywords

Nanomaterials, Health, Nanoparticles, Microfluidics, Drug Delivery

Project summary

Multifunctional nanoparticles hold tremendous promise for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, for example, by incorporating targeting, stimuli-responsive release and imaging functions to achieve targeted delivery, controlled release and real-time diagnosis. They have attracted significant interest and undergone an explosive growth over the last decade in terms of publications, patents and other research activities. However, more functionality requires more synthetic steps, resulting in not only difficulty in reproducibly synthesising nanoparticles having consistent properties, but also low yields and high production cost and high probability of failure during synthesis.

Microfluidics has attracted significant interest in a wide variety of fields. Its ability to manipulate nanoliter volumes of liquid, control mixing and reaction precisely open up the possibility of creating targeted nanocarriers with uniform size and narrow size distribution. Microfluidic synthesis of nanoparticles offers a number of advantages over traditional "beaker methods", including efficient mixing, enhanced heat and mass transfer, precise control over nucleation and growth processes, and scale-up possibility. These intrinsic properties in combination with the potential for automating multiple processes such as reaction, separation, purification and characterisation in a single microchip make microfluidics attractive as a platform technology for developing a library of nanocarriers with controlled size, shape and surface properties. This project will develop facile one-step microfluidic approaches for synthesising targeted nanocarriers having controlled properties, including particle size, charge, ligand density, etc.

Project contacts

Lead investigator Chun-Xia Zhao
Research group Centre for Biomolecular Engineering
Contact email z.chunxia@uq.edu.au


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