Droplet microfluidics uses a 2-phase system, in which each assay is compartmentalized in an aqueous microdroplet (1 pL to 10 nL) surrounded by an immiscible oil. We generate droplets by forcing a central aqueous phase and two side streams of fluorinated oil through a small orifice (nozzle) (Figure A). The outer fluid exerts pressure and viscous stresses that force the inner fluid into a narrow thread, which then breaks inside or downstream of the orifice into droplets. The droplets are all of the same size (monodisperse) and are stabilized by a fluorosurfactant contained in the fluorinated oil (Figure B). Droplets can be generated at up to 5,000 per second.
What we do
- we develop high-throughput applications for:
- mining natural resources,
- prepare single-cell cDNA library by enabling efficient magnetic extraction from droplets
- re-tooling droplet microfluidics to process precious samples of limited availability
- simplify the synthesis of novel surfactants to facilitate the development of novel structures
Unlimited in dimensions, an array of microwells of pico-liter volume can host as many single cell as one assay needs to achieve power. The top and inside surfaces of microwells can be modified separately to create a smart device where cells can be deterred from attachment between wells and lured into pico-liter chambers. In addition, the wells can be sealed and serve as individual reaction chambers. Microwells offers great structural versatility for multiple single cells studies and interactions.Combined with different fabrication materials/techniques such as soft lithography or dry film photoresist, a variety of designs can be made to process and collect cells with high degree of control.
(Scale = 250um)
What we do
- enzymatic-based strategies to measure the activity signaling pathways
- novel types of arrays to overcome the shortcomings of current designs
- massively parallel single-cell quantitative RT-PCR assays
- efficient massively parallel single-cell genomics with array of microwells
- efficient cell-cell coupling assays