Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


College of Engineering


Chemical and Materials Engineering


Developing a facile process that can produce small hydrogels of a well-defined shape with diameters in the order of 100 μm is of great interest in the field of biomedical applications including drug delivery, tissue engineering, and cell manufacturing. We attempted to employ electrohydrodynamic (EHD) jetting process to fabricate such microgels made of sodium alginate. To achieve the controlled sizes and shapes of the microgels in a reproducible manner, the solution parameters (sodium alginate concentration, calcium chloride concentration) as well as operational parameters of EHD jetting (flow rate, voltage, distance between the jetting nozzle to the substrate) have been studied and optimized to yield a jetting condition with the sustained Taylor cone-jet mode. The morphology and the size of the resulting microgels for varying conditions were characterized by optical microscopy. The developed microgels can be employed as a biological reactor within which immune cells such as B cells can be manufactured for cellular immunotherapies for infections or autoimmune diseases.



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