2 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Microfluidic-based platforms have become a hallmark for chemical and biological assays, empowering micro- and nano-reaction vessels. The fusion of microfluidic technologies (digital microfluidics, continuous-flow microfluidics, and droplet microfluidics, just to name a few) presents great potential for overcoming the inherent limitations of each approach, while also elevating their respective strengths. This work exploits the combination of digital microfluidics (DMF) and droplet microfluidics (DrMF) on a single substrate, where DMF enables droplet mixing and further acts as a controlled liquid supplier for a high-throughput nano-liter droplet generator. Droplet generation is performed at a flow-focusing region, operating on dual pressure: negative pressure applied to the aqueous phase and positive pressure applied to the oil phase. We evaluate the droplets produced with our hybrid DMF–DrMF devices in terms of droplet volume, speed, and production frequency and further compare them with standalone DrMF devices. Both types of devices enable customizable droplet production (various volumes and circulation speeds), yet hybrid DMF–DrMF devices yield more controlled droplet production while achieving throughputs that are similar to standalone DrMF devices. These hybrid devices enable the production of up to four droplets per second, which reach a maximum circulation speed close to 1540 µm/s and volumes as low as 0.5 nL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4927
Number of pages15
JournalSensors
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2023

Keywords

  • digital microfluidics
  • droplet microfluidics
  • flow focusing
  • negative pressure

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