Guiding, distribution, and storage of trains of shape-dependent droplets†
We present a simple method of guiding, distributing, and storing of a train of shape-dependent droplets by using side flows, cavity guiding tracks, and storage chambers. The squeezing flow makes a train of flattened droplets to align to one side of the wall and the pushing flow guides it to one of the designated guiding tracks. Then the guided droplets move along the guiding track due to the lowered surface energy when they flow along the track. In addition, simultaneous droplet guiding and storing process has been demonstrated. An array of storage chambers placed in each track could store each train containing differently concentrated droplets. The proposed method will be useful for distribution of droplets for further processes or storing for multiplex, large-scale, dynamic assays over time.