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Issue 7, 2013
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Aqueous two-phase microdroplets with reversible phase transitions

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Abstract

Aqueous two-phase systems contained within microdroplets enable a bottom-up approach to mimicking the dynamic microcompartmentation of biomaterial that naturally occurs within the cytoplasm of cells. Here, we demonstrate the generation of femtolitre aqueous two-phase droplets within a microfluidic oil channel. Gated pressure pulses were used to generate individual, stationary two-phase microdroplets with a well-defined time zero for carrying out controlled and sequential phase transformations over time. Reversible phase transitions between single-phase, two-phase, and core–shell microbead states were obtained via evaporation-induced dehydration and water rehydration. In contrast to other microfluidic aqueous two-phase droplets, which require continuous flows and high-frequency droplet formation, our system enables the controlled isolation and reversible transformation of a single microdroplet and is expected to be useful for future studies in dynamic microcompartmentation and affinity partitioning.

Graphical abstract: Aqueous two-phase microdroplets with reversible phase transitions

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Oct 2012, accepted on 23 Jan 2013 and first published on 24 Jan 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC41122B
Citation: Lab Chip, 2013,13, 1295-1301
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    Aqueous two-phase microdroplets with reversible phase transitions

    J. B. Boreyko, P. Mruetusatorn, S. T. Retterer and C. P. Collier, Lab Chip, 2013, 13, 1295
    DOI: 10.1039/C3LC41122B

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