Application of NIRs coupled with PLS and ANN modelling to predict average droplet size in oil-in-water emulsions prepared with different microfluidic devices

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2022 Apr 5:270:120860. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2022.120860. Epub 2022 Jan 6.


In this study, the potential of microfluidic systems with different microchannel geometries (microchannel with teardrop micromixers and microchannel with swirl micromixers) for the preparation of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions using two different emulsifiers (2 % and 4 % Tween 20 and 2% and 4 % PEG 2000) at total flow rates of 20-280 μL/min was investigated. The results showed that droplets with a smaller average Feret diameter were obtained when a microfluidic device with tear drop micromixers was used. To predict the average Feret diameter of O/W emulsion droplets, near-infrared (NIR) spectra of all prepared emulsions were collected and coupled with partial least squares (PLS) regression and artificial neural network modelling (ANN). The results showed that PLS models based on NIR spectra can ensure acceptable qualitative prediction, while highly non-linear ANN models are more suitable for predicting the average Feret diameter of O/W droplets. High R2 values (R2validation greater than 0.8) confirm that ANNs can be used to monitor the emulsification process.

Keywords: Artificial neural network modelling; Average Feret diameter; Microfluidic emulsification; Near infrared spectroscopy; Partial least squares regression.

MeSH terms

  • Emulsions
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Water


  • Emulsions
  • Water