[Patent] Novel Droplet-Embedded Microfibers, and methods and devices for preparing and using same
The invention includes microfluidic methods and devices that allow for the continuous production of microfibers with embedded droplets aligned along the length of the fiber at specific positions. The invention allows for formation of single or multiple emulsions within a fiber. The various phases comprised within the fiber can vary in terms of in terms of hydrophobic/hydrophilic character, solid/fluid, or gel crosslink density, which allows for the introduction of heterogeneous microenvironments within the fiber, each of which with distinct solubility characteristics, permeability, and mechanical properties. Various compounds and materials can be encapsulated in the different microcompartments of the fiber for storage and delivery applications, as well as to provide multifunctionality to the fiber structure. The disclosed structures have a broad range of potential applications, for example as engineered substrates with controlled release profiles of multiple compounds for tissue engineering (such as a tissue scaffold, for example) and bioengineering applications.
Document Type and Number: United States Patent Application 20170056331 Kind Code: A1
Inventors: Stone, Howard A. (Princeton, NJ, US) Nunes, Janine K. (Plainsboro, NJ, US) UM, Eujin (Ulsan, KR) Pico, Tamara (Cambridge, MA, US)