Crystal-like structures at nano and micron scales have promise for purification and confined reactions, and as starting points for fabricating highly ordered crystals for protein engineering and drug discovery applications. However, developing controlled crystallization techniques from batch processes remain challenging. We show that neutrally charged nanoscale spherical micelles from biocompatible nonionic surfactant solutions can evolve into nano- and micro-sized branched networks and crystal-like structures. This occurs under simple combinations of temperature and flow conditions. Our findings not only suggest new opportunities for developing controlled universal crystallization and encapsulation procedures that are sensitive to ionic environments and high temperatures, but also open up new pathways for accelerating drug discovery processes, which are of tremendous interest to pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries.
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