Microfluidic Preparation of Various Perfluorocarbon Nanodroplets: Characterization and Determination of Acoustic Droplet Vaporization (ADV) Threshold

Authors: R. Melich, P. Bussat, L. Morici, A. Vivien, E. Gaud, T. Bettinger and S. Cherkaoui

Journal: International Journal of Pharmaceutics

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119651

Publication - Abstract

September 01, 2020

Over the last two decades, liquid perfluorocarbon nanodroplets (PFC-NDs), also known as Phase Change Contrast Agents (PCCAs), that are capable of vaporizing into gaseous echogenic microbubbles via an external stimulus, have gained much attention for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In the present work, a microfluidic platform is evaluated for the preparation of various size-controlled nanodroplets. Here, two major lines of investigations were carried out. The first was to define the microfluidic device settings for the preparation of nanodroplets depending on the nature of the encapsulating shell such as lipids, fluorinated surfactants and PLGA biopolymers as well as the liquid perfluorocarbon core (perfluoropentane, perfluorohexane). Specifically, the effect of the microfluidic system parameters, such as total flow rate and flow rate ratio on PFC-NDs attributes including size and uniformity was assessed. Secondly, a custom-made set-up, based on echogenicity signals from produced bubbles, was designed and successfully applied to determine the Acoustic Droplet Vaporization (ADV) threshold of PFC-NDs. Finally, the influence of various formulation parameters on the vaporization outcome was investigated depending on the PFC type and the encapsulating shell composition (soft versus hard shells). This study indicates the usefulness of this novel formulation platform enabling the rapid design and optimization of narrowly dispersed nanodroplets at a reliable yield and ultimately accelerate nanomedicines development.

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