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Active and Precise Control of Microdroplet Division Using Horizontal Pneumatic Valves in Bifurcating Microchannel

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Author(s): Dong Hyun Yoon | Junichi Ito | Tetsushi Sekiguchi | Shuichi Shoji

Journal: Micromachines
ISSN 2072-666X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 197;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: microdroplet | division | bifurcating microchannel | horizontal pneumatic valve | PDMS

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a microfluidic system for the active and precise control of microdroplet division in a micro device. Using two horizontal pneumatic valves formed at downstream of bifurcating microchannel, flow resistances of downstream channels were variably controlled. With the resistance control, volumetric ratio of downstream flows was changed and water-in-oil microdroplets were divided into two daughter droplets of different volume corresponding to the ratio. The microfluidic channels and pneumatic valves were fabricated by single-step soft lithography process of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) using SU-8 mold. A wide range control of the daughter droplets’ volume ratio was achieved by the simple channel structure. Volumetric ratio between large and small daughter droplets are ranged from 1 to 70, and the smallest droplet volume of 14 pL was obtained. The proposed microfluidic device is applicable for precise and high throughput droplet based digital synthesis.
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