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Technology

Coaxial electrospray is an electrohydrodynamic process that creates core-shell microparticles by atomizing a coaxial electrified jet composed of two immiscible fluids. In the electrospray phenomenon, a high electrostatic field acting on the free surface of a liquid triggers an instability that transforms the meniscus into a conical shape. This cone balances the capillary forces and electrostatic pressure, forming droplets of an inner and outer liquid when operated in the electrospray cone-jet mode. Shell thickness and outer diameter of the core-shell particles can be modulated via the flow rates and diameters of the jet. Immiscible compound liquid droplets with a shell of photosensitive material are solidified using light. High resolution stereolithography can be used to manufacture freeform microfluidics at a small fraction of the cost per device, infrastructure cost, and fabrication time of a typical silicon-based microfluidic system.