Evaluating Procedures for Cleaning Birds and Other Wildlife Affected by Oil Spills
DATE: January 2022
Swansea University | School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Dr. Francesco Del Giudice, Senior Lecturer

At the Rheological Microfluidic lab, we focus on research featuring a combination of microfluidic devices and polymer solutions to develop optimised technologies. Under an EPSRC New Investigator Award grant, we are currently focusing on developing a solution for the controlled encapsulation of particles, meaning an encapsulation process with efficiency significantly larger than the Poisson stochastic value (~30% for single encapsulation). This is really important in applications such as single-cell analysis and material synthesis. At this aim, we design different fluid formulations that are used as suspending liquids for the particles. By choosing the formulation appropriately, we obtained an encapsulation efficiency 2 times larger than the Poisson prediction.

Hamilton syringes have been a constant presence in our experimental work, even before the establishment of the Rheological Microfluidic Lab at Swansea University. We used Hamilton syringes coupled to a syringe pump apparatus to control the volumetric flow rate in microfluidic channels. We also used them to control the volumetric flow rates of two independent flow streams, for the purpose of droplet formation.

Thanks to the Hamilton grant, we will be able to purchase syringes with a ¼-28 thread that we can then easily link to our tubing via simple screwing of ¼-28 connectors. This is essential for us, as we work with highly viscous solutions at large flow rate values (10-500 mL/min), and conventional TTL syringes leak from the needle at these flow rate values. By screwing tightly the connectors to the syringes, we will prevent leakages significantly, thus enabling us to study even more viscous liquids at larger flow rate values.

Most Recent Publications using Hamilton syringes

  1. K. Shahrivar, F. Del Giudice, Controlled viscoelastic encapsulation of particles in microfluidic devices, Soft Matter, 17, 8068-8077, 2021. Doi: 10.1039/D1SM00941A.
  2. F. Del Giudice, G. D’Avino, F. Greco, P.L. Maffettone, and A. Shen, Fluid viscoelasticity drives self-assembly of particle trains in a straight microfluidic channel, Physical Review Applied, 10, 064058, 2018.

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