Droplet creation is a crucial but challenging subject in microfluidics. Depending on the application, the objective is to produce droplets of a particular size. Two immiscible phases are used in microfluidics to create droplets. These are:
- The continuous phase (oil, medium in which droplets flow)
- The dispersed phase (water, the droplet)
Microfluidic systems typically consist of a microfluidic chip, a fluid handling device, and tubing for producing droplets. The droplet generation can then be seen by connecting this equipment to a computer and a microscope.
Droplet-based microfluidic systems have already entered laboratories, and currently, it is possible to create (monodisperse) droplets that range in size from femto to nanoliters. Therefore, all kinds of experimental possibilities are accessible. For instance, the compartmentalization and surface-to-volume ratio are crucial in single-cell studies and digital PCR.
Case study: Facilitating droplet generation with the mp6 micropump
The case study below demonstrates the feasibility of droplet creation. Bartels’ partner, microfluidic ChipShop, provided the mp6 micropump, a pressure sensor, reagents, fluidic accessories, and a Droplet Generator Chip.
Image Credit: Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH
The graphic provides info on how the case study’s system is configured. There are several critical details that must be taken into account to guarantee optimal performance.
This case study provides an in-depth view of the workings of this great use for microfluidics.
Read the Case Study
Video: Setting up a system for droplet generation
Droplet generation is crucial to medical technology. The analysis and sorting of single cells are where this technique is most intriguing. The video below demonstrates how to create a compact, adaptable system that does not require a compressed air line, unlike many other systems. This is made possible by a microfluidic ChipShop chip and the mp6 micropump.
Droplet generation using the mp6 micropump for single cell analysis
Video Credit: Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH