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Issue 20, 2017
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Droplet trapping and fast acoustic release in a multi-height device with steady-state flow

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Abstract

We demonstrate a novel multilayer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) device for selective storage and release of single emulsion droplets. Drops are captured in a microchannel cavity and can be released on-demand through a triggered surface acoustic wave pulse. The surface acoustic wave (SAW) is excited by a tapered interdigital transducer (TIDT) deposited on a piezoelectric lithium niobate (LiNbO3) substrate and inverts the pressure difference across the cavity trap to push a drop out of the trap and back into the main flow channel. Droplet capture and release does not require a flow rate change, flow interruption, flow inversion or valve action and can be achieved in as fast as 20 ms. This allows both on-demand droplet capture for analysis and monitoring over arbitrary time scales, and continuous device operation with a high droplet rate of 620 drops per s. We hence decouple long-term droplet interrogation from other operations on the chip. This will ease integration with other microfluidic droplet operations and functional components.

Graphical abstract: Droplet trapping and fast acoustic release in a multi-height device with steady-state flow

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Article information


Submitted
07 Apr 2017
Accepted
02 Aug 2017
First published
02 Aug 2017

Lab Chip, 2017,17, 3422-3430
Article type
Paper

Droplet trapping and fast acoustic release in a multi-height device with steady-state flow

R. W. Rambach, K. Linder, M. Heymann and T. Franke, Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 3422
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00378A

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