New Generation of 3D printed electrospray sources for microencapsulation in biomedical applications
Benjamin de Jesus, Benjamín Evani
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Additive manufacturing by Digital Light Processor stereolithography (DLP-SLA) has shown a great potential to create high-density microfluidic devices due to it offers high resolution and relatively low-cost. In this work, the fabrication of 3D printed coaxial electrospray sources with a high density of emitters are reported by using DLP-SLA technology. The 3D printed electrospray sources have also proven to work correctly as a source of microencapsulation. To accomplish the objectives of the study, it was addressed in three sections primarily. First, the influence of the involved parameters on the final properties of printed microchannels was evaluated by the analysis and characterization of this promising additive manufacturing technology. Second, based on its maximum printing capabilities, multiplexed electrospray sources were designed. To manufacture suitable channels with diameters up to 160 µm, it was key to establish the smallest dimensions of the new devices, which were successfully printed with 41 and 57 coaxial emitters respectively. Finally, Vitamin D and alginate hydrogel were used to produce core-shell microparticles as an initial exploration in the encapsulation of biomedical substances via coaxial electrospraying. The accurate encapsulation was dependent on the flow rate, applied voltages, and mainly on the concentration of alginate solution.