Producing Shape-Engineered Hydrogel Particles

This project involves using rheologically complex materials and microfluidics to produce non-spherical droplets and hydrogel particles that find application in pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. It is known that viscoplastic fluids are capable of forming prolate droplets when dripped from a nozzle. We leverage this ability of viscoplastic fluids and combine it with the gel-forming capacity of sodium alginate in the presence of divalent ions to tune the shape of alginate particles. We also investigate deformation dynamics of non-spherical viscoplastic droplets during entry and settling in a quiescent viscous fluid bath.