Liquid-capped encoded microcapsules for multiplex assays
Although droplet microfludics is a promising technology for handling a number of liquids of a single type of analyte, it has limitations in handling thousands of different types of analytes for multiplex assay. Here, we present a novel “liquid-capped encoded microcapsule”, which is applicable to various liquid format assays. Various liquid drops can be graphically encoded and arrayed without repeated dispensing processes, evaporation, and the risk of cross-contamination. Millions of nanoliter-scale liquids are encapsulated within encoded microcapsules and self-assembled in microwells in a single dispensing process. The graphical code on the microcapsule enables identification of randomly assembled microcapsules in each microwell. We conducted various liquid phase assays including enzyme inhibitor screening, virus transduction, and drug-induced apoptosis tests. The results showed that our liquid handling technology can be utilized widely for various solution phase assays.