Microbubbling and microencapsulation by co-axial electrohydrodynamic atomization.
Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).
Microbubbles coated with polymers or surfactants have been used in medical imaging for several years as ultrasound contrast agent particles and are now being investigated by researchers as drug and gene delivery vehicles and blood substitutes. Current methods available for the preparation of microbubbles are insufficient as they result in microbubbles with a wide size distribution and as such filtration is necessary before their use. With a view to fill the above demand, a detailed investigation has been carried out in this research to learn the viability of co-axial electrohydrodynamic atomization (CEHDA) technique to prepare microbubbles. The research also focuses on the effects of the process parameters such as flow rates, applied voltage and material parameters such as electrical conductivity, surface tension and viscosity with the objective of preparing polymer or surfactant coated stabilized microbubbles with diameters < 8 μm and with a narrow size distribution. A model glycerol-air system was used so that the CEHDA technique was modified to generate suspensions of microbubbles to a diameter < 8 μm with a narrow size distribution and then to characterise the CEHDA microbubbling process in terms of size and stability with varying process parameters and material parameters. Construction of a parametric plot between the air flow rate and the liquid flow rate was extremely useful in identifying the flow rate regime of air and liquid or suspension or solution for the continuous microbubbling of the system used. With further investigations into the CEHDA microbubbling technique, it was possible to develop strategies, first, to prepare suspensions of stabilized phospholipids-coated microbubbles with a mean diameter of ~ 5 μm and a polydispersivity index of 9%, and second, polymeric microspheres with a mean diameter of 400 nm and a polydispersivity index of 8% using a biocompatible polymer.
|Title:||Microbubbling and microencapsulation by co-axial electrohydrodynamic atomization|
|Open access status:||An open access version is available from UCL Discovery|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Mechanical Engineering|
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