LSPone: revolutionizing microfluidic droplet generation

Microfluidic droplets generation using two LSPone Programmable Syringe Pumps


This application notes to microfluidic droplets generation will guide you through the core principles and the significant advantages these technologies bring to a variety of scientific and industrial fields. Understand how mastering the control of droplet sizes and flow rates can open up new possibilities in drug delivery, encapsulation, and beyond, ensuring you are equipped to identify and implement solutions that best meet your needs.

Our LSPone, Laboratory Programmable Syringe Pump, an essential tool researcher looking to innovate and enhance efficiency in liquid handling. This app notes sets the stage for discussing the specific functionalities and applications of the LSPone, aimed at helping you make an informed decision about integrating this technology into your workstream.

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How are droplets formed?

In microfluidics, droplets are formed through precise control over fluid interfaces, typically within specially designed microfluidic chips. Droplet generation primarily utilizes two methods: flow-focusing and T-junction.



Flow-focusing junction


In T-junction setups, the dispersed phase is segmented by the perpendicular flow of the continuous phase, forming droplets as it enters the main channel.

In flow-focusing, the continuous phase (like oil) constricts the dispersed phase (like water) at a narrow junction, creating droplets as the dispersed phase breaks up due to shear forces and surface tension. Syringe pumps, and even more the LSPone, are critical in this process.

The LSPone programmable syringe pump precisely controls the flow rates of these streams, allowing the formation of uniform droplets when the aqueous phase pinches off into the oil phase due to the controlled shear forces at the junction. This method is crucial for achieving consistent droplet sizes and frequencies, which are essential for the reproducibility and reliability of experimental outcomes in applications such as drug delivery systems and diagnostic assays.

Setup and Equipment

Requirement component:

  • Computer
  • LSPone x2
  • Microfluidic chip
  • Water & oil
  • Waste reservoir
  • Connectors & tubings


To achieve precise droplet generation using the LSPone Programmable Syringe Pump, a specific setup is required. This includes the LSPone pump itself, known for its high accuracy and repeatability, which is crucial for microfluidic experiments. The setup also involves a microfluidic chip with a flow-focusing geometry to facilitate the droplet formation process.

We are using a droplet generation chip from microfluidic ChipShop (product number: 13-1007-0440-02), with a flow-focusing junction. The top left part is connected to the oil, and the water passes through the serpentine in the middle. Thus water droplets are created in the oil carrier.

Connecting these components requires precise tubing and connectors to ensure a leak-free pathway for the fluids. A control software provided with the LSPone allows for fine-tuning of flow rates and monitoring of the process, making it an ideal system for both research and industrial applications.

Optimizing Droplet Characteristics

Achieving the desired droplet characteristics in microfluidic applications requires precise manipulation of several variables, primarily flow rates and droplet sizes. With the LSPone Laboratory Programmable Syringe Pump, you can finely automate and adjust the flow rates of the fluid streams—critical for controlling the size and frequency of droplets. By varying these parameters, users can tailor droplet formation to suit specific needs, whether for controlled drug delivery systems or high-throughput biochemical assays. This optimization process is supported by the LSPone’s advanced software, which provides real-time feedback and precise control, ensuring consistent results across experiments.

Possible applications

Microfluidic droplet generation technology has a broad range of applications across various fields:

  • Research and Diagnostics: Encapsulation of cells, DNA, or magnetic beads facilitates advanced research and diagnostic techniques, enhancing the precision and efficiency of these processes.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Essential in protein crystallization and innovative drug delivery systems, such as using polymer particles for targeted therapy and improved drug formulations.
  • Manufacturing: Precision manufacturing of emulsions and foams for the food and cosmetics industries, ensuring consistency and quality in product batches.
  • Materials Science: Production of nanoparticles, paints, and polymer particles, which are integral in developing new material properties and applications.
  • Academic Research: Supports academic studies into droplets, emulsions, bubbles, and particles, providing insights into fundamental processes and potential new technologies.

What’s in it for you?

  • An easy-to-use pump (well, 2 even!)
  • An intuitive software
  • A simple, efficient apparatus for proof-of-concept droplet experiments
  • A cost-friendly solution

Utilizing the LSPone Laboratory Programmable Syringe Pump in your microfluidic applications can significantly enhance your project’s output and efficiency. This equipment is designed to automate and to offer unmatched precision in droplet generation, crucial for advancing research and development in fields such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and environmental testing. With its user-friendly software and robust design, the LSPone ensures that you can achieve reliable, repeatable results with minimal downtime. This translates into faster development cycles and more effective product testing, giving your work a competitive edge in the market.

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