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United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
The present invention provides methods of on-demand, reversible generation of aqueous two-phase microdroplets core-shell microbeads, microparticle preparations comprising the core-shell microbeads, and drug delivery formulation comprising the microparticle preparations. Because these aqueous microdroplets have volumes comparable to those of cells, they provide an approach to mimicking the dynamic microcompartmentation of biomaterial that naturally occurs within the cytoplasm of cells. Hence, the present methods generate femtoliter aqueous two-phase droplets within a microfluidic oil channel using gated pressure pulses to generate individual, stationary two-phase microdroplets with a well-defined time zero for carrying out controlled and sequential phase transformations over time. Reversible phase transitions between single-phase, two-phase, and core-shell microbead states are obtained via evaporation-induced dehydration and water rehydration.
Collier, Charles Patrick (Oak Ridge, TN), Retterer, Scott Thomas (Knoxville, TN), Boreyko, Jonathan Barton (Knoxville, TN), Mruetusathorn, Prachya (Knoxville, TN)
13/ 970,724
August 20, 2013
[0001] This invention was made with government support under Prime Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.