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Issue 16, 2017
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A precise and accurate microfluidic droplet dilutor

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We demonstrate a microfluidic system for the precise (coefficient of variance between repetitions below 4%) and highly accurate (average difference from two-fold dilution below 1%) serial dilution of solutions inside droplets with a volume of ca. 1 μl. The two-fold dilution series can be prepared with the correlation coefficient as high as R2 = 0.999. The technique that we here describe uses hydrodynamic traps to precisely meter every droplet used in subsequent dilutions. We use only one metering trap to meter each and every droplet involved in the process of preparation of the dilution series. This eliminates the error of metering that would arise from the finite fidelity of fabrication of multiple metering traps. Metering every droplet at the same trap provides for high reproducibility of the volumes of the droplets, and thus high reproducibility of dilutions. We also present a device and method to precisely and accurately dilute one substance and simultaneously maintain the concentration of another substance throughout the dilution series without mixing their stock solutions. We compare the here-described precise and accurate dilution systems with a simple microdroplet dilutor that comprises several traps – each trap for a subsequent dilution. We describe the effect of producing more reproducible dilutions in a simple microdroplet dilutor thanks to the application of an alternating electric field.

Graphical abstract: A precise and accurate microfluidic droplet dilutor

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Apr 2017, accepted on 09 Jun 2017 and first published on 12 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7AN00679A
Citation: Analyst, 2017,142, 2901-2911
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    A precise and accurate microfluidic droplet dilutor

    W. Postek, T. S. Kaminski and P. Garstecki, Analyst, 2017, 142, 2901
    DOI: 10.1039/C7AN00679A

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