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Issue 9, 2015
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A versatile technology for droplet-based microfluidics: thermomechanical actuation

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Abstract

We report on a versatile technique for microfluidic droplet manipulation that proves effective at every step: from droplet generation to propulsion to sorting, rearrangement or break-up. Non-wetting droplets are thermomechanically actuated in a microfluidic chip using local heating resistors. Controlled temperature variation induces local dilation of the PDMS wall above the resistor, which drives the droplet away from the hot (i.e. constricted) region (B. Selva, I. Cantat and M.-C. Jullien, Phys. Fluids, 2011, 23, 052002). Adapted placing and actuation of such resistors thus allow us to push forward, stop, store and release, or even break up droplets, at the price of low electric power consumption (<150 mW). We believe this technically accessible method to provide a useful tool for droplet microfluidics.

Graphical abstract: A versatile technology for droplet-based microfluidics: thermomechanical actuation

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Article information


Submitted
29 Jan 2015
Accepted
20 Mar 2015
First published
26 Mar 2015

Lab Chip, 2015,15, 2133-2139
Article type
Paper

A versatile technology for droplet-based microfluidics: thermomechanical actuation

V. Miralles, A. Huerre, H. Williams, B. Fournié and M. Jullien, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 2133
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00110B

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