Microfluidic droplet trapping array as nanoliter reactors for gas-liquid chemical reaction

Qingquan Zhang, Shaojiang Zeng, Jianhua Qin, Bingcheng Lin
Electrophoresis 2009, 30 (18): 3181-8
This article presents a simple method for trapping arrays of droplets relying on the designed microstructures of the microfluidic device, and this has been successfully used for parallel gas-liquid chemical reaction. In this approach, the trapping structure is composed of main channel, lateral channel and trapping region. Under a negative pressure, array droplets can be generated and trapped in the microstructure simultaneously, without the use of surfactant and the precise control of the flow velocity. By using a multi-layer microdevice containing the microstructures, single (pH gradient) and multiple gas-liquid reactions (metal ion-NH3 complex reaction) can be performed in array droplets through the transmembrane diffusion of the gas. The droplets with quantitative concentration gradient can be formed by only replacing the specific membrane. The established method is simple, robust and easy to operate, demonstrating the potential of this device for droplet-based high-throughput screening.

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