Automation and Control System for Polymeric Microparticles Fabrication with Microfluidic Devices

L. Katherine R. Ardila, M. Ricardo Gongora-Rubio, A. Marim de Oliveira, T. Santana Balogh, N. Neto Pereira Cerize, L. Wasnievski da Silva Ramos
Institute for Technological Research of the State of São Paulo, BR

Keywords: control system, automation, microfluidic devices, polymeric microparticles, process intensification


Process Intensification through microtechnology improves the performance of chemical, analytical and biotechnological processes. The fabrication of polymeric microparticles using the emulsion/diffussion produces particles for drug encapsulation with delivery control, and technologies based on Microfluidic provide the miniaturization of such process. However, the integration and automation of technological devices like precision microactuators, sensors and control systems are essential to increase the performance and efficiency in continuous scale of particles production with precision in automatic actions. The proposal of this work is to develop the integration and control system for automation of polymeric microparticles fabrication in continuous scale for drug encapsulation, based on microfluidics devices with control and supervision of automatic cycles. The control system is based on control profiles of flow rates for microgear pumps, relating pressure of fluid lines, motors velocities, fluids viscosity, mechanism of microgear pumps and characterization of microfluidics devices. The result of this work is a prototype for automatic and continuous polymeric microparticles production, delivering particles of size 0.4µm-1.4µm. The experimental results were validated with optical microscopy; particles size measure and polydispersion distribution. The main focus and contribution of this work is the automation and control system of miniaturized process to produce polymeric microparticles in continuous scale.