Microfluidics: A Transformational Tool for Nanomedicine Development and Production


Authors: S. Garg, G. Heuck, S. Ip, E. Ramsay

Journal: Journal of Drug Targeting

DOI: 10.1080/1061186X.2016.1198354

Publication - Abstract

August 05, 2016

Abstract:

Microfluidic devices are mircoscale fluidic circuits used to manipulate liquids at the nanoliter scale. The ability to control the mixing of fluids and the continuous nature of the process make it apt for solvent/antisolvent precipitation of drug-delivery nanoparticles. This review describes the use of numerous microfluidic designs for the formulation and production of lipid nanoparticles, liposomes and polymer nanoparticles to encapsulate and deliver small molecule or genetic payloads. The advantages of microfluidics are illustrated through examples from literature comparing conventional processes such as beaker and T-tube mixing to microfluidic mixing approaches. Particular emphasis is placed on examples of microfluidic nanoparticle formulations that have been tested in vitro and in vivo. Fine control of process parameters afforded by microfluidics allows unprecedented optimization of nanoparticle quality and encapsulation efficiency. Automation improves the reproducibility and optimization of formulations. Furthermore, the continuous nature of the microfluidic process is inherently scalable, allowing optimization of nanoparticle formulation at low volumes, which is advantageous with scarce or costly materials, as well as scale-up through process parallelization. Given these advantages, microfluidics is poised to become the new paradigm for nanomedicine formulation and production.

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