Static microdroplet arrays: a microfluidic device for droplet trapping, incubation and release for enzymatic and cell-based assays†
We describe the design, fabrication and use of a single-layered poly(dimethylsiloxane) microfluidic structure for the entrapment and release of microdroplets in an array format controlled entirely by liquid flow. Aqueous picoliter droplets are trapped en masse and optically monitored for extended periods of time. Such an array-based approach is used to characterize droplet shrinkage, aggregation of encapsulated E. colicells and enzymatic reactions. We also demonstrate that trapped droplets may be recovered from the microfluidic array for further processing.