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Micromachines 2015, 6(10), 1490-1504; doi:10.3390/mi6101434

Enhancing Throughput of Combinatorial Droplet Devices via Droplet Bifurcation, Parallelized Droplet Fusion, and Parallelized Detection

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrew deMello and Xavier Casadevall i Solvas
Received: 3 August 2015 / Revised: 23 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 5 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Droplet Microfluidics: Techniques and Technologies)
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Abstract

Combinatorial droplet microfluidic devices with programmable microfluidic valves have recently emerged as a viable approach for performing multiplexed experiments in microfluidic droplets. However, the serial operation in these devices restricts their throughput. To address this limitation, we present a parallelized combinatorial droplet device that enhances device throughput via droplet bifurcation, parallelized droplet fusion, and parallelized droplet detection. In this device, sample droplets split evenly at bifurcating Y-junctions before multiple independent reagent droplets are injected directly into the split sample droplets for robust droplet fusion. Finally, the fused sample and reagent droplets can be imaged in parallel via microscopy. The combination of these approaches enabled us to improve the throughput over traditional, serially-operated combinatorial droplet devices by 16-fold—with ready potential for further enhancement. Given its current performance and prospect for future improvements, we believe the parallelized combinatorial droplet device has the potential to meet the demand as a flexible and cost-effective tool that can perform high throughput screening applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: parallelization; bifurcation; droplets; throughput; microfluidics parallelization; bifurcation; droplets; throughput; microfluidics
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hsieh, K.; Zec, H.C.; Ma, P.C.; Rane, T.D.; Wang, T.-H. Enhancing Throughput of Combinatorial Droplet Devices via Droplet Bifurcation, Parallelized Droplet Fusion, and Parallelized Detection. Micromachines 2015, 6, 1490-1504.

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