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Biomicrofluidics. 2009 Oct 13;3(4):44102. doi: 10.1063/1.3250303.

Concurrent droplet charging and sorting by electrostatic actuation.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, nanobio Sensors and MicroActuators Learning Lab (SMALL), University at Buffalo, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260, USA.


This paper presents a droplet-based microfluidic device for concurrent droplet charging and sorting by electrostatic actuation. Water-in-oil droplets can be charged on generation by synchronized electrostatic actuation. Then, simultaneously, the precharged droplets can be electrostatically steered into any designated laminar streamline, thus they can be sorted into one of multiple sorting channels one by one in a controlled fashion. In this paper, we studied the size dependence of the water droplets under various relative flow rates of water and oil. We demonstrated the concurrent charging and sorting of up to 600 dropletss by synchronized electrostatic actuation. Finally, we investigated optimized voltages for stable droplet charging and sorting. This is an essential enabling technology for fast, robust, and multiplexed sorting of microdroplets, and for the droplet-based microfluidic systems.

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