QR-on-a-chip: a computer-recognizable micro-pattern engraved microfluidic device for high-throughput image acquisition†
This study proposes a novel way to achieve high-throughput image acquisition based on a computer-recognizable micro-pattern implemented on a microfluidic device. We integrated the QR code, a two-dimensional barcode system, onto the microfluidic device to simplify imaging of multiple ROIs (regions of interest). A standard QR code pattern was modified to arrays of cylindrical structures of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Utilizing the recognition of the micro-pattern, the proposed system enables: (1) device identification, which allows referencing additional information of the device, such as device imaging sequences or the ROIs and (2) composing a coordinate system for an arbitrarily located microfluidic device with respect to the stage. Based on these functionalities, the proposed method performs one-step high-throughput imaging for data acquisition in microfluidic devices without further manual exploration and locating of the desired ROIs. In our experience, the proposed method significantly reduced the time for the preparation of an acquisition. We expect that the method will innovatively improve the prototype device data acquisition and analysis.