Microbubbling by co-axial electrohydrodynamic atomization.
Farook U., Stride E., Edirisinghe MJ., Moaleji R.
The preparation of microbubble suspensions is an important feature of medical engineering research. Recently, co-axial electrohydrodynamic atomization was used in our laboratory for the first time to prepare microbubble suspensions. In this paper, using a model glycerol-air system, we investigate in detail the characteristics of this microbubbling process. Modes of microbubbling are elucidated with respect to applied voltage and liquid and air flow rates. Thus, a parametric plot is constructed to identify a liquid and gas flow rate regime, which allows continuous microbubbling. This map provides a basis for the selection of a suitable combination of liquid and gas flow rates particularly in relation to yield and bubble size. The mechanism of microbubbling in microfluidic systems is compared with that of microbubbling by co-axial electrohydrodynamic atomization to identify the advantages and the limiting factors of the latter. Stability of microbubbles prepared by this method in terms of variation of diameter as a function of time is compared with previous literature on the dissolution of microbubbles with an air core and suggests the need for further work to stabilize the bubbles.