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Method and Apparatus for Forming Multiple Emulsions

Organization:Harvard University, Massachusetts, US
I.P. Brief:Everyday emulsions have drops of one liquid dispersed in an immiscible continuous liquid. A multiple emulsion has immiscible droplets dispersed in drops dispersed in an immiscible continuous liquid (double emulsion). The IP describes a simple apparatus that can make multiple emulsions with a high degree of control - such as the ability to make emulsions of one droplet in one drop and to control the relative sizes of each.
Summary of I.P.:The IP claims a platform for making double emulsions, which have many uses in the personal care, food, and pharmaceutical industries. They allow the isolation of fragile active substances (drugs, flavorants, perfumes) dissolved or suspended in the innermost droplets from the environment until they are needed. Many complex and functional core shell structures can be made by dissolving prepolymers, polymers or lipids in the outer droplet to make polymersomes and liposomes encasing the inner droplet(s); or the placing of colloidal particles in the continuous liquid can make colloidisomes with controllable permeability. Living cells can be encased inside the structures as cellular factories protected from the environment.
Patent:A PCT International patent application was filed March 4, 2006
Keywords:complex fluids, drug delivery,
Primary Industry:Personal Care
Specific Market:personal care, food, materials, drug delivery
Market Size:potentially very large
State of the Art:There are complex methods available but nothing approaches the controllability of the present invention
Figures of Merit:breadth of applications and ease of controlling product characteristics
Tech.  Obstacles:scale up
Market Obstacles:1) demonstrating commercially reasonable scale up, and 2) demonstrating a reasonable shelf life of the resultant multiple emulsions
Publications:Utada et al., Monodisperse Double Emulsions Generated from a Microcapillary Device, Science, 308, 537-541, 2005. Lorenceau et al., Generation of Polymerosomes from Double-Emulsions, Langmuir, 21, 9183-9186, 2005.
Research Team:PI - Dr. David Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics

 

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