University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • T. F. Abelha
  • T. W. Phillips
  • J. H. Bannock
  • A. M. Nightingale
  • C. A. Dreiss
  • E. Kemal
  • L. Urbano
  • J. C. Demello
  • M. Green
  • L. A. Dailey
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2009-2019
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2017


This study compares the performance of a microfluidic technique and a conventional bulk method to manufacture conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNs) embedded within a biodegradable poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether-block-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PEG5K-PLGA55K) matrix. The influence of PEG5K-PLGA55K and conjugated polymers cyano-substituted poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (CN-PPV) and poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) on the physicochemical properties of the CPNs was also evaluated. Both techniques enabled CPN production with high end product yields (∼70-95%). However, while the bulk technique (solvent displacement) under optimal conditions generated small nanoparticles (∼70-100 nm) with similar optical properties (quantum yields ∼35%), the microfluidic approach produced larger CPNs (140-260 nm) with significantly superior quantum yields (49-55%) and tailored emission spectra. CPNs containing CN-PPV showed smaller size distributions and tuneable emission spectra compared to F8BT systems prepared under the same conditions. The presence of PEG5K-PLGA55K did not affect the size or optical properties of the CPNs and provided a neutral net electric charge as is often required for biomedical applications. The microfluidics flow-based device was successfully used for the continuous preparation of CPNs over a 24 hour period. On the basis of the results presented here, it can be concluded that the microfluidic device used in this study can be used to optimize the production of bright CPNs with tailored properties with good reproducibility.

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