Preparation of uniform-sized agarose beads by microporous membrane emulsification technique.J Colloid Interface Sci. 2007 Jul 01; 311(1):118-27.JC
Uniform-sized agarose beads were prepared by membrane emulsification technique in this study. Agarose was dissolved in boiling water (containing 0.9% sodium chloride) and used as water phase. A mixture of liquid paraffin and petroleum ether containing 4 wt% of hexaglycerin penta ester (PO-500) emulsifier was used as oil phase. At 55 degrees C, the water phase permeated through uniform pores of microporous membrane into the oil phase by a pressure of nitrogen gas to form uniform W/O emulsion. Then the emulsion was cooled down to room temperature under gentle agitation to form gel beads. The effect of oil phase, emulsifier, especially temperature on the uniformity of the beads were investigated and interpreted from interfacial tension between water phase and oil phase. Under optimized condition, the coefficient variation (C.V.) showing the size distribution of the beads was under 15%. This was the first report to prepare uniform agarose beads by membrane emulsification, and to investigate the effect of temperature on the size distribution of the droplets and beads. The beads with different size can be prepared by using membranes with different pore size, and the result showed that there was a linear relationship between the average diameter of beads and pore size of the membranes; beads with diameter from 15 to 60 microm were able to obtain in this study.