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Bio-Design and Manufacturing  2024 Vol.7 No.1 P.31-42

http://doi.org/10.1007/s42242-023-00257-z


A novel integrated microfluidic chip for on-demand electrostatic droplet charging and sorting


Author(s):  Jinhui Yao, Chunhua He, Jianxin Wang, Canfeng Yang, Ye Jiang, Zhiyong Liu, Guanglan Liao & Tielin Shi

Affiliation(s): 

Corresponding email(s):   zhiyong_liu@hust.edu.cn, guanglan.liao@hust.edu.cn

Key Words:  Copper wire, Droplet generation, Droplet sorting, Microfluidic chips, On-demand charging


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Jinhui Yao, Chunhua He, Jianxin Wang, Canfeng Yang, Ye Jiang, Zhiyong Liu, Guanglan Liao & Tielin Shi . A novel integrated microfluidic chip for on-demand electrostatic droplet charging and sorting[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science D, 2024, 7(1): 31-42.

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Abstract: 
On-demand droplet sorting is extensively applied for the efficient manipulation and genome-wide analysis of individual cells. However, state-of-the-art microfluidic chips for droplet sorting still suffer from low sorting speeds, sample loss, and labor-intensive preparation procedures. Here, we demonstrate the development of a novel microfluidic chip that integrates droplet generation, on-demand electrostatic droplet charging, and high-throughput sorting. The charging electrode is a copper wire buried above the nozzle of the microchannel, and the deflecting electrode is the phosphate buffered saline in the microchannel, which greatly simplifies the structure and fabrication process of the chip. Moreover, this chip is capable of high-frequency droplet generation and sorting, with a frequency of 11.757 kHz in the drop state. The chip completes the selective charging process via electrostatic induction during droplet generation. On-demand charged microdroplets can arbitrarily move to specific exit channels in a three-dimensional (3D)-deflected electric field, which can be controlled according to user requirements, and the flux of droplet deflection is thereby significantly enhanced. Furthermore, a lossless modification strategy is presented to improve the accuracy of droplet deflection or harvest rate from 97.49% to 99.38% by monitoring the frequency of droplet generation in real time and feeding it back to the charging signal. This chip has great potential for quantitative processing and analysis of single cells for elucidating cell-to-cell variations.

华中科技大学机械科学与工程学院廖广兰教授等 | 一种用于液滴按需充电与分选的新型集成微流控芯片

本研究论文聚焦于按需静电液滴充电与分选的微流控芯片研究。按需液滴分选技术被广泛应用于对单个细胞进行高效操作和全基因组分析。然而,目前用于液滴分选的微流控芯片仍然存在分选速度低、样本损失和准备过程耗时耗力等问题。本研究展示了一种新型微流控芯片的开发过程,芯片集液滴生成、按需静电液滴充电和高通量分选于一体,充电电极是一根埋在微通道喷嘴上方的细铜丝,偏转电极是微通道中的 PBS 缓冲液,大大简化了芯片的结构和制备工艺。芯片能进行高频液滴生成和分选,液滴生成频率达 11.757 kHz,芯片在液滴生成的同时,通过静电感应完成选择性充电过程,按需充电的微液滴可在三维偏转电场中任意移动到特定的出口通道。液滴偏转的通量因此显著提高。此外,本研究还提出了一种充电信号实时匹配的充电策略,通过实时监测液滴产生的频率,并将其反馈到充电信号中,从而将液滴偏转或收集的准确率从 97.49% 提高到 99.38%。本研究的工作为按需液滴分选提供了一种新的策略,在细胞分选和单细胞分析等生物医学领域应用广泛。

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