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Micromachines 2013, 4(2), 197-205; doi:10.3390/mi4020197
Article

Active and Precise Control of Microdroplet Division Using Horizontal Pneumatic Valves in Bifurcating Microchannel

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Received: 2 February 2013 / Revised: 21 April 2013 / Accepted: 2 May 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
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Abstract

This paper presents a microfluidic system for the active and precise control of microdroplet division in a micro device. Using two horizontal pneumatic valves formed at downstream of bifurcating microchannel, flow resistances of downstream channels were variably controlled. With the resistance control, volumetric ratio of downstream flows was changed and water-in-oil microdroplets were divided into two daughter droplets of different volume corresponding to the ratio. The microfluidic channels and pneumatic valves were fabricated by single-step soft lithography process of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) using SU-8 mold. A wide range control of the daughter droplets’ volume ratio was achieved by the simple channel structure. Volumetric ratio between large and small daughter droplets are ranged from 1 to 70, and the smallest droplet volume of 14 pL was obtained. The proposed microfluidic device is applicable for precise and high throughput droplet based digital synthesis.
Keywords: microdroplet; division; bifurcating microchannel; horizontal pneumatic valve; PDMS microdroplet; division; bifurcating microchannel; horizontal pneumatic valve; PDMS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yoon, D.H.; Ito, J.; Sekiguchi, T.; Shoji, S. Active and Precise Control of Microdroplet Division Using Horizontal Pneumatic Valves in Bifurcating Microchannel. Micromachines 2013, 4, 197-205.

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