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Issue 5, 2017
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A 3D microblade structure for precise and parallel droplet splitting on digital microfluidic chips

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Abstract

Existing digital microfluidic (DMF) chips exploit the electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) force to perform droplet splitting. However, the current splitting methods are not flexible and the volume of the droplets suffers from a large variation. Herein, we propose a DMF chip featuring a 3D microblade structure to enhance the droplet-splitting performance. By exploiting the EWOD force for shaping and manipulating the mother droplet, we obtain an average dividing error of <2% in the volume of the daughter droplets for a number of fluids such as deionized water, DNA solutions and DNA–protein mixtures. Customized droplet splitting ratios of up to 20 : 80 are achieved by positioning the blade at the appropriate position. Additionally, by fabricating multiple 3D microblades on one electrode, two to five uniform daughter droplets can be generated simultaneously. Finally, by taking synthetic DNA targets and their corresponding molecular beacon probes as a model system, multiple potential pathogens that cause sepsis are detected rapidly on the 3D-blade-equipped DMF chip, rendering it as a promising tool for parallel diagnosis of diseases.

Graphical abstract: A 3D microblade structure for precise and parallel droplet splitting on digital microfluidic chips

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Dec 2016, accepted on 06 Feb 2017 and first published on 06 Feb 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01539E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2017,17, 896-904
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    A 3D microblade structure for precise and parallel droplet splitting on digital microfluidic chips

    C. Dong, Y. Jia, J. Gao, T. Chen, P. Mak, M. Vai and R. P. Martins, Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 896
    DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01539E

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