[Lab on a chip] Progress of crystallization in microfluidic devices
Microfluidic technology provides a unique environment for the investigation of crystallization processes at the nano or meso scale. The convenient operation and precise control of process parameters, at these scales of operation enabled by microfluidic devices, are attracting significant and increasing attention in the field of crystallization. In this paper, developments and applications of microfluidics in crystallization research including: crystal nucleation and growth, polymorph and cocrystal screening, preparation of nanocrystals, solubility and metastable zone determination, are summarized and discussed. The materials used in the construction and the structure of these microfluidic devices are also summarized and methods for measuring and modelling crystal nucleation and growth process as well as the enabling analytical methods are also briefly introduced. The low material consumption, high efficiency and precision of microfluidic crystallizations are of particular significance for active pharmaceutical ingredients, proteins, fine chemicals, and nanocrystals. Therefore, it is increasingly adopted as a mainstream technology in crystallization research and development.
Huan-huan Shi,ab Yan Xiao,ab Steven Ferguson,c Xin Huang,ab Na Wangab and Hong-xun Hao*ab Author affiliations * Corresponding authors a National Engineering Research Center of Industrial Crystallization Technology, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China E-mail: email@example.com Fax: +86 22 27374971 Tel: +86 22 27405754 b Co-Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, Tianjin 300072, China c School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland