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Open AccessArticle

Controllable Active Micro Droplets Merging Device Using Horizontal Pneumatic Micro Valves

Nanosciences & Nanoengineering, Waseda University, 3-4-1, Okubu, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 1698555, Japan
Nano Technology Research Center, 513 Waseda, Tsurumaki-chou, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0041, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2013, 4(1), 34-48;
Received: 14 December 2012 / Revised: 31 January 2013 / Accepted: 8 February 2013 / Published: 8 March 2013
We present an active droplet merging device, which can merge various sizes of micro droplets in different numbers by using pneumatically controlled horizontal PDMS microvalves. The merging part consists of a main and side channels separated by a pillar array. The pillar array structure is contained within a microfuidic channel. The function of the pillar array provides a bypass path to the continuous flow (oil) inside the merging chamber. Droplets are successfully generated within the channel and achieve merging by controlling the selective different numbers and diameters of droplets through varying the flow resistance of main and side channel. In the merging chamber, a droplet will enter and slow down its movement. It will wait and then merge with the sequential droplets. These experiments demonstrate that such a merging device can controllably select and adjust the distance between the different adjacent micro droplets without any generation of sister droplets in the side channel. The device has no desynchronization problems. Thus, it can be applied for efficiently mixing the droplets in various diameters and numbers without changing the structure of the merging chamber. Hence, this device can be a more effective choice when applying microfluidics to chemical and biological applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: merging; pneumatic microvalves; droplets; flow resistance; pressure merging; pneumatic microvalves; droplets; flow resistance; pressure
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Jamshaid, A.; Igaki, M.; Yoon, D.H.; Sekiguchi, T.; Shoji, S. Controllable Active Micro Droplets Merging Device Using Horizontal Pneumatic Micro Valves. Micromachines 2013, 4, 34-48.

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