Microfluidics for Synthesis and Development of Nanotherapeutics and Nano-Imaging Agents

When: Friday, October 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Where: SH 320
Speaker: Dr. Rohit Karnik, D'Arbeloff Assistant Professor
Organization: Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Sponsor: IGERT

Microfluids refer to flow in and around channels in the size range of 1-1000 μm, which offers access to flow regimes that are not normally encountered in larger systems. The ability of microfluidics to provide rapid mixing and uniform reaction conditions makes it useful for controlled synthesis of nanoparticles. In this talk, I will discuss our work on microfluidic devices that enable single-step synthesis of nanoparticles with narrow size distributions and tunable properties. Nanoparticle formation occurs in these devices by self-assembly when polymer, drug, or lipid solutions are rapidly mixed with water, an anti-solvent. These devices have enabled synthesis of a variety of PLGA-PEG nanoparticles, ~100 nm polymer-drug conjugate nanoparticles that are difficult to make by conventional methods, and quantum-dot encapsulating lipid-polymeric nanoparticles that otherwise require prolonged processing. The ability of microfluidics to create homogeneous nanoparticles and tune their properties in a high-throughput manner may enable the development and optimization of nanoparticles for different therapeutic, diagnostic, and theranostic applications.