Single Microdroplet Breakup-Assisted Viscosity Measurement

Yeongseok Jang, Hwabok Wee, Jonghyun Oh, Jinmu Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, with the development of biomedical fields, the viscosity of prepolymer fluids, such as hydrogels, has played an important role in determining the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) or being closely related to cell viability in ECM. The technology for measuring viscosity is also developing. Here, we describe a method that can measure the viscosity of a fluid with trace amounts of prepolymers based on a simple flow-focused microdroplet generator. We also propose an equation that could predict the viscosity of a fluid. The viscosity of the prepolymer was predicted by measuring and calculating various lengths of the disperse phase at the cross junction of two continuous-phase channels and one disperse-phase channel. Bioprepolymer alginates and gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) were used to measure the viscosity at different concentrations in a microdroplet generator. The break-up length of the dispersed phase at the cross junction of the channel gradually increased with increasing flow rate and viscosity. Additional viscosity analysis was performed to validate the standard viscosity calculation formula depending on the measured length. The viscosity formula derived based on the length of the alginate prepolymer was applied to GelMA. At a continuous phase flow rate of 400 uL/h, the empirical formula of alginate showed an error within about 2%, which was shown to predict the viscosity very well in the viscometer. Results of this study are expected to be very useful for hydrogel tuning in biomedical and tissue regeneration fields by providing a technology that can measure the dynamic viscosity of various prepolymers in a microchannel with small amounts of sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number558
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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