- • Flow control mechanisms used in microfluidic synthesis platforms have been discussed.
• Review focuses on proposals for applications of drug delivery, bioimaging, biosensing, and cellular analysis.
• Review provides a detailed overview of advances in microfluidic synthesis technology field over the past years.
Nanomaterials have attracted significant attention in biomedical and environmental science in recent years due to their unique thermal, optical, electrical and magnetic properties. The properties of nanomaterials are highly correlated with their size and morphology. Consequently, efficient methods for synthesizing nanomaterials with a consistent size and shape are urgently required. Compared to conventional large-scale synthesis systems, microfluidic systems offer a far better control over the growth, nucleation and reaction conditions. As such, microfluidic synthesis has emerged as a key enabling technology for the rapid, low cost and reliable preparation of nanomaterials with complex properties and functions. This review provides a detailed overview of advances in the microfluidic synthesis technology field over the past five years. The review commences by describing the main microfluidic control mechanisms and microfluidic synthesis of particles. Some of the more common applications of microfluidic synthesized micro and nanomaterials are then introduced, including drug delivery, bioimaging, biosensing, environmental analysis, and cell analysis. The review concludes with a brief overview of the challenges facing the microfluidic synthesis field in the coming years, together with possible research directions aimed at overcoming these challenges.