Apparently, in the production of mRNA vaccines the microfluidic components play a major part in encapsulating the mRNA in a stable lipid coat (the technical term is likely not 'coat'). This step is also apparently a bottleneck in vaccine production (FWIW I still think patents should be waved to ease global vaccine production, though other things are needed as well). I wanted to ask how microfluidic devices used here are built, but with a short google I didnt even find out how one looks like - So I ask about that:

How does the device look like? How is the basic function? How large or small is the mixer in a n industrial application? I've seen picutres where reaction chambers, mostly stainless steel blocks with the chamber milled inside, where assembled lego-like on a board and fitted together with a vise or similar - this appears to be appropriate for lab work, but maybe the same systems are used for production?

So, I hope that someone here has either better google foo than me or works in the industry and can share some knowledge - there's a huge area between trade secrets and the trivially googleable, usually hidden in trade press and catalogs, that is available to someone with experience in the relevant industry.

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    $\begingroup$ I do a fair amount of microfluidics and have done some manufacturing applications, including some large-production-volume diagnostic devices, although not vaccine manufacturing, so I'd be happy to answer general questions. Unfortunately I don't know anything about the mRNA encapsulation process. I was peripherally involved in a "very high priority" diagnostic device project last year, and the only thing I'll say, is that if you knew what the real production bottlenecks were, at least in that case, you'd cry, because it's such basic supply-chain-lead-time / project-management stuff. $\endgroup$
    – Pete W
    May 5 at 15:51

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