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Nat Chem. 2011 Jun;3(6):437-42. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1046.

A microdroplet dilutor for high-throughput screening.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW72AZ, UK.

Abstract

Pipetting and dilution are universal processes used in chemical and biological laboratories to assay and experiment. In microfluidics such operations are equally in demand, but difficult to implement. Recently, droplet-based microfluidics has emerged as an exciting new platform for high-throughput experimentation. However, it is challenging to vary the concentration of droplets rapidly and controllably. To this end, we developed a dilution module for high-throughput screening using droplet-based microfluidics. Briefly, a nanolitre-sized sample droplet of defined concentration is trapped within a microfluidic chamber. Through a process of droplet merging, mixing and re-splitting, this droplet is combined with a series of smaller buffer droplets to generate a sequence of output droplets that define a digital concentration gradient. Importantly, the formed droplets can be merged with other reagent droplets to enable rapid chemical and biological screens. As a proof of concept, we used the dilutor to perform a high-throughput homogeneous DNA-binding assay using only nanolitres of sample.

PMID:
21602857
DOI:
10.1038/nchem.1046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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