Economical and Scalable Production of Submicron Particles and Coatings at Room Temperature
Princeton Docket # 17-3329
The laboratory of Prof. Howard Stone has developed a novel technology for economical and scalable synthesis and production of submicron/nano-scale and nanostructured particulate materials. The technology incorporates unique liquid atomization method to produce submicron-sized (~200 nm) droplets, which, for the same solution, are 10-100 times smaller than the droplets in modern commercial systems. The continuous processing of precursor solution is rapid (order of a second) and can occur even at room temperature, which is economical and compatible with thermo-sensitive materials. The process and the system design are simple and cost-effective, scalable for bulk production, and can accommodate highly concentrated and high-viscosity solutions with potential to decrease cycle time. Design rules and proof-of-concept particles have been demonstrated. The team is interested in engaging with a commercial partner to develop this technology for pharmaceutical/biomedical or advanced material applications, in either submicron/nano-scale and nanostructured particle formation, therapeutic aerosols or thin film coatings. The applications can include, but are not limited to, active pharmaceutical ingredients and adjuvants, proteins, active biological materials, and more. Customers can also benefit from processing their existing bulk production by utilizing the novel submicron-droplet technology instead of regular energy-and-cost ineffective spray particle processing like spray drying, spray freeze drying, spray fluidized bed coating etc.
- Nano-scale and nanostructured particle design and synthesis for thermo-sensitive processes
- Pharmaceutical submicron/nano-scale particle formulations and therapeutic aerosols
- Active biological materials like bacteriophages, living cells, enzymes, active ingredients or adjuvants, proteins, salts, and for drug delivery or rapid dissolution formulations
- Thin film coatings for various applications (pharmaceutical, drug delivery, agricultural, environmental, food, electronics and more)
- Particle formation begins from submicron-sized droplets, capable of reaching ~200 nm scale, 10-100 times smaller than commercial methods
- Simple economic equipment construction and process (2 steps)
- Room temperature processing (low energy, and suitable for thermo-sensitive materials)
- Scalable production and system design (up and down, microfluidic to industrial scales)
- Rapid droplet-to-particle conversion, continuous processing and high throughput
- Compatible with concentrated and viscous solutions
- M. Mezhericher et al. Aerosol-assisted synthesis of submicron particles at room temperature using ultra-fine liquid atomization. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2018, 346, 606-620. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2018.04.054
- M. Mezhericher et al. Submicron aerosols of liquid fuels: Method of production, experimental characterization and a semi-empirical model. Applied Energy 2018, Accepted for the publication. Preprint available: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20515.30244
- M. Mezhericher et al. Atomization of liquids by disintegrating thin liquid films using gas jets. International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 2017, 88, 99-115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmultiphaseflow.2016.07.015
Intellectual Property & Development Status
Patent application on room and moderate aerosol processing of liquid solutions into submicron/nano-scale and nanostructured particulate materials is pending.
Patent is pending for liquid atomization device into submicron droplets, publication number WO/2016/055993. The patent describing the device and method is owned by Shamoon College of Engineering.
Princeton University is working with Shamoon College of Engineering to advance the commercialization of this technology.
Proof of concept has been demonstrated and the team is seeking commercial partners to develop the technology for commercial applications.
Howard A. Stone is the Donald R. Dixon and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Chair. Howard Stone's research interests are in fluid dynamics, especially as they arise in research and applications in transport phenomena at the interface of engineering, chemistry, physics, biology and applied mathematics. His research group has developed original research directions in the area of complex fluids and microfluidics including studies and applications involving bubbles and droplets, red blood cells, bacteria, chemical kinetics, etc. Professor Stone is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. In 2008, Stone was the winner of the inaugural Batchelor Prize sponsored by the Journal of Fluid Mechanics for the breadth and depth of his research over a 10-year period (1998-2007) and for his widely acknowledged leadership in fluid mechanics.
Maksim Mezhericher is a researcher at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of Princeton University, jointly appointed between the Complex Fluids Group and the Advanced Combustion and Propulsion Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Ben Gurion University, in the area of particle engineering and synthesis using spray drying processes. In 2011-2016, he served as a tenured Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Shamoon College of Engineering. The research interests of Dr. Mezhericher broadly include basic fundamental and applied research of particle engineering and synthesis for pharmaceutical, energy and energy storage, medical, biotechnological, agricultural, environmental and food applications; atomization of liquids into submicron droplets; fluid mechanics and transport phenomena in gas-bubble-droplet-particle flows, microfluidic devices for liquid atomization and particle engineering.
Janine Nunes is an Associate Research Scholar in Professor Howard A. Stone's research group in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Princeton University. She earned her PhD in chemistry from the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, in the area of polymer particle synthesis and lithography. Her current research interests are in the use of multiphase microfluidics to template precursor liquid phases for the controlled fabrication of novel micro-objects, such as microfibers and core-shell/hollow microspheres.
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