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Production of arrays of chemically distinct nanolitre plugs via repeated splitting in microfluidic devices

Adamson, David N. and Mustafi, Debarshi and Zhang, John X. J. and Zheng, Bo and Ismagilov, Rustem F. (2006) Production of arrays of chemically distinct nanolitre plugs via repeated splitting in microfluidic devices. Lab on a Chip, 6 (9). pp. 1178-1186. ISSN 1473-0197.

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This paper reports a method for the production of arrays of nanolitre plugs with distinct chemical compositions. One of the primary constraints on the use of plug-based microfluidics for large scale biological screening is the difficulty of fabricating arrays of chemically distinct plugs on the nanolitre scale. Here, using microfluidic devices with several T-junctions linked in series, a single input array of large (similar to 320 nL) plugs was split to produce 16 output arrays of smaller (similar to 20 nL) plugs; the composition and configuration of these arrays were identical to that of the input. This paper shows how the passive break-up of plugs in T-junction microchannel geometries can be used to produce a set of smaller-volume output arrays useful for chemical screening from a single large-volume array. A simple theoretical description is presented to describe splitting as a function of the Capillary number, the capillary pressure, the total pressure difference across the channel, and the geometric fluidic resistance. By accounting for these considerations, plug coalescence and plug -plug contamination can be eliminated from the splitting process and the symmetry of splitting can be preserved. Furthermore, single-outlet splitting devices were implemented with both valve-and volume-based methods for coordinating the release of output arrays. Arrays of plugs containing commercial sparse matrix screens were obtained from the presented splitting method and these arrays were used in protein crystallization trials. The techniques presented in this paper may facilitate the implementation of high-throughput chemical and biological screening.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Zheng, Bo0000-0001-8344-3445
Ismagilov, Rustem F.0000-0002-3680-4399
Additional Information:This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2006. Received 6th April 2006, Accepted 20th June 2006. First published on the web 27th July 2006. This work was partially supported by the NIH (RO1 GM075827). We acknowledge ATCG3D, funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Center for Research Resources under the PSI-2 Specialized Center program (U54 GM074961), for providing equipment. Undergraduate research was supported by Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award to R. F. I. (D. A.) and by the NIH Roadmap Physical and Chemical Biology training program at the University of Chicago (D. M.). We thank the Haselkorn group at the University of Chicago and Peter Kuhn and Ray Stevens groups at the Scripps Research Institute for protein samples. Fluorescent measurements were performed at the Chicago MRSEC microfluidic facility funded by NSF. We thank Qiang Fu, Helen Song and Liang Li for helpful discussions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHU54 GM074961
Camille and Henry Dreyfus FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NIH Roadmap Physical and Chemical BiologyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:gas-liquid flow; circular tubes; surfactants; droplets; drops; poly(dimethylsiloxane); capillary; system; motion; valves
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130821-160715778
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40776
Deposited By: Whitney Barlow
Deposited On:26 Aug 2013 19:56
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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