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Multiple splitting of droplets using multi-furcating microfluidic channels.

Biomicrofluidics (2019-05-09)
Zida Li, Luoquan Li, Meixiang Liao, Liqun He, Ping Wu
ABSTRACT

Removing volumes from droplets is a challenging but critical step in many droplet-based applications. Geometry-mediated droplet splitting has the potential to reliably divide droplets and thus facilitate the implementation of this step. In this paper, we report the design of multi-furcating microfluidic channels for efficient droplet splitting. We studied the splitting regimes as the size of the mother droplets varied and investigated the dependence of the transition between splitting regimes on the capillary number and the dimensionless droplet length. We found that the results obtained with our device agreed with the reported dimensionless analysis law in T-junctions. We further investigated the effect of channel lengths on the volume allocation in branch channels and achieved droplet splitting with various splitting ratios. This study proposed an efficient on-demand droplet splitting method and the findings could potentially be applied in washing steps in droplet-based biological assays or assays that require aliquot.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Triton X-100, laboratory grade
Sigma-Aldrich
Triton X-100, BioXtra
Sigma-Aldrich
Mineral oil, suitable for preparation of Nujol mulls for infrared spectroscopy, light oil