Microfluidic methods for generating continuous droplet streams

G. F. Christopher, S. L. Anna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

660 Scopus citations


Microfluidic technologies have emerged recently as a promising new route for the fabrication of uniform emulsions. In this paper, we review microfluidic methods for synthesizing uniform streams of droplets and bubbles, focusing on those that utilize pressure-driven flows. Three categories of microfluidic geometries are discussed, including co-flowing streams, cross-flowing streams, and flow focusing devices. In each category we summarize observations that have been reported to date in experiments and numerical simulations. We describe these results in the context of physical mechanisms for droplet breakup, and simple theoretical models that have been proposed. Applications of droplets in microfluidic devices are briefly reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberR01
Pages (from-to)R319-R336
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 7 2007


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