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Micromachines 2017, 8(3), 88;

Size-Adjustable Microdroplets Generation Based on Microinjection

Institute of Robotics and Automatic Information System (IRAIS), Nankai University, No. 94 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300071, China
Tianjin Key Laboratory of Intelligent Robotics (TJKLIR), Nankai University, No. 94 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300071, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nam-Trung Nguyen
Received: 15 January 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 12 March 2017
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Microinjection is a promising tool for microdroplet generation, while the microinjection for microdroplets generation still remains a challenging issue due to the Laplace pressure at the micropipette opening. Here, we apply a simple and robust substrate-contacting microinjection method to microdroplet generation, presenting a size-adjustable microdroplets generation method based on a critical injection (CI) model. Firstly, the micropipette is adjusted to a preset injection pressure. Secondly, the micropipette is moved down to contact the substrate, then, the Laplace pressure in the droplet is no longer relevant and the liquid flows out in time. The liquid constantly flows out until the micropipette is lifted, ending the substrate-contacting situation, which results in the recovery of the Laplace pressure at the micropipette opening, and the liquid injection is terminated. We carry out five groups of experiments whereupon 1600 images are captured within each group and the microdroplet radius of each image is detected. Then we determine the relationship among microdroplet radius, radius at the micropipette opening, time, and pressure, and, two more experiments are conducted to verify the relationship. To verify the effectiveness of the substrate-contacting method and the relationship, we conducted two experiments with six desired microdroplet radii are set in each experiment, by adjusting the injection time with a given pressure, and adjusting the injection pressure with a given time. Then, six arrays of microdroplets are obtained in each experiment. The results of the experiments show that the standard errors of the microdroplet radii are less than 2% and the experimental errors fall in the range of ±5%. The average operating speed is 20 microdroplets/min and the minimum radius of the microdroplets is 25 μm. This method has a simple experimental setup that enables easy manipulation and lower cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: microdroplet generation; Laplace pressure; critical injection microdroplet generation; Laplace pressure; critical injection

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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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Li, S.; Zheng, D.; Li, N.; Wang, X.; Liu, Y.; Sun, M.; Zhao, X. Size-Adjustable Microdroplets Generation Based on Microinjection. Micromachines 2017, 8, 88.

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