An integrated device for monitoring time-dependent in vitro expression from single genes in picolitre droplets

Fabienne Courtois, Luis F Olguin, Graeme Whyte, Daniel Bratton, Wilhelm T S Huck, Chris Abell, Florian Hollfelder
Chembiochem: a European Journal of Chemical Biology 2008 February 15, 9 (3): 439-46
Microdroplets have great potential for high-throughput biochemical screening. We report the design of an integrated microfluidic device for droplet formation, incubation and screening. Picolitre water-in-oil droplets can be stored in a reservoir that contains approximately 10(6) droplets. In this reservoir droplets are stable for at least 6 h, which gives an extended timescale for biochemical experiments. We demonstrate the utility of the system by following the in vitro expression of green fluorescent protein. The high efficiency allows protein expression from a single molecule of DNA template, creating "monoclonal droplets" in which genotype and phenotype are combined in one emulsion compartment.

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