Microfluidic Drop Technology: Characterization, Sorting and Merging
Microdrop microfluidics is an emerging and exciting technology developed for high throughput screening and processing of biological systems ranging from directed evolution to protein crystallization. The technology consists of producing uniform, stable emulsions of droplets ranging from 10 pl – 1 nl volume suspended in an inert oil. Experiments can be performed on these droplets en masse, removing the need for tedious pipetting and screening and offering a smaller, cheaper alternative to large-scale robotic systems or humans. The Olin SCOPE team focused on implementing droplet interrogation, sorting, and merging capabilities for the National Science Foundation MRSEC at Brandeis. This involved developing a series of microfluidic chips and a test stand capable of actuating sorting in real time based on fluorescent levels. These capabilities will enable Brandeis to pursue new directions of research.