Title

Microfluidic Device for Liposome Formation

Lead Author Major

Bioengineering

Lead Author Status

Senior

Second Author Major

Bioengineering

Second Author Status

Senior

Third Author Major

Bioengineering

Third Author Status

Senior

Fourth Author Major

Bioengineering

Fourth Author Status

Senior

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

Shelly Gulati

Faculty Mentor Department

Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Computer Science

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Jeffrey Burmeister

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering and Computer Science

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Xin Guo

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy

Graduate Student Mentor Name

Zizhao Xu

Graduate Student Mentor Department

Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy

Abstract/Artist Statement

In recent years, much research has focused on investigating new methods of drug delivery. One of these includes encapsulating drug particles in lipid vesicles, more commonly referred to as liposomes. Various methods exist of synthesizing liposomes such as injection of lipids dissolved in an ethanol solution into an aqueous environment. This particular method of synthesizing liposomes, while still successful, can result in variability with respect to the size of the vesicles produced. The focus of this project was to create a microfluidic device for a client in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy to aid in his liposome research. The device adapts the ethanol injection method to a microscale platform to allow for a greater degree of control over the size of the formed vesicles, resulting in greater uniformity. This device is designed to allow the mixing and dilution of an ethanol solution with an aqueous one, which will allow the lipid components to precipitate out of solution and self-assemble into vesicles. The device was designed using a computer-aided design software called SolidWorks. Fluid dynamic modeling was carried out using a finite-element analysis program called COMSOL Multiphysics to predict how the device would operate under laminar flow conditions and how well ethanol would dissolve into the aqueous solution. COMSOL predicted successful laminar flow and dilution of ethanol; based on previously reviewed literature, liposome self-assembly is well-documented under these conditions. A physical prototype has been created; given current COVID-19 restrictions, future plans include testing the device in a physical laboratory setting using different inlet flow rate ratios and dynamic light scattering to determine the homogeneity of the liposomes produced.

Location

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

Start Date

1-5-2021 8:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2021 5:00 PM

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May 1st, 8:00 AM May 1st, 5:00 PM

Microfluidic Device for Liposome Formation

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

In recent years, much research has focused on investigating new methods of drug delivery. One of these includes encapsulating drug particles in lipid vesicles, more commonly referred to as liposomes. Various methods exist of synthesizing liposomes such as injection of lipids dissolved in an ethanol solution into an aqueous environment. This particular method of synthesizing liposomes, while still successful, can result in variability with respect to the size of the vesicles produced. The focus of this project was to create a microfluidic device for a client in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy to aid in his liposome research. The device adapts the ethanol injection method to a microscale platform to allow for a greater degree of control over the size of the formed vesicles, resulting in greater uniformity. This device is designed to allow the mixing and dilution of an ethanol solution with an aqueous one, which will allow the lipid components to precipitate out of solution and self-assemble into vesicles. The device was designed using a computer-aided design software called SolidWorks. Fluid dynamic modeling was carried out using a finite-element analysis program called COMSOL Multiphysics to predict how the device would operate under laminar flow conditions and how well ethanol would dissolve into the aqueous solution. COMSOL predicted successful laminar flow and dilution of ethanol; based on previously reviewed literature, liposome self-assembly is well-documented under these conditions. A physical prototype has been created; given current COVID-19 restrictions, future plans include testing the device in a physical laboratory setting using different inlet flow rate ratios and dynamic light scattering to determine the homogeneity of the liposomes produced.