We detail the analysis of centrifugal homogenization process by a hydrodynamic model and the model-guided design of a low-cost centrifugal homogenizer. During operation, centrifugal force pushes a multiphase solution to be homogenized through a thin nozzle, consequently homogenizing its contents. We demonstrate and assess the homogenization of coarse emulsions into relatively monodisperse emulsions, as well as the application of centrifugal homogenization in the mechanical lysis of mpkCCD mouse kidney cells. To gain insight into the homogenization mechanism, we investigate the dependence of emulsion droplet size on geometrical parameters, centrifugal acceleration, and dispersed phase viscosity. Our experimental results are in qualitative agreement with models predicting the droplet size. Furthermore, they indicate that high shear rates kept constant throughout operation produce more monodisperse droplets. We show this ideal homogenization condition can be realized through hydrodynamic model-guided design minimizing transient effects inherent to centrifugal homogenization. Moreover, we achieved power densities comparable to commercial homogenizers by model guided optimization of homogenizer design and experimental conditions. Centrifugal homogenization using the proposed homogenizer design thus offers a low-cost alternative to existing technologies as it is constructed from off-the-shelf parts (Falcon tubes, syringe, needles) and used with a centrifuge, readily available in standard laboratory environment.
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- Centrifugal emulsification