Advertisement

Selective handling of droplets in a microfluidic device using magnetic rails

  • 1154 Accesses

  • 26 Citations

Abstract

Droplet microfluidics is currently undergoing an explosive development due to its ability to compartmentalize samples in picolitre to nanolitre volumes, transport them without dispersion and perform high-throughput analysis. The precise manipulation of single droplets, however, still requires complex chips, such as microelectrode arrays, or equipment, such as laser-based sorting. We report here a very simple proof of concept of an innovative and active technology which allows the individual manipulation of single droplets. This technology combines ferromagnetic rails and magnetic nanolitre droplets. Ferromagnetic rails are used to locally create magnetic potential wells. When the field is turned OFF, the hydrodynamic drag force transports the magnetic droplets according to the flow velocity profile. By switching ON the magnetic field, droplets experience a magnetic force that affects their trajectory when passing over the magnetized rail. The combination of the drag force exerted by the oil flow and the magnetic force resulting from the magnetized rail leads to a deflection force that guides the droplet along the rail, thus imposing a deterministic trajectory. The magnetic rails networks offer a spatially and temporally addressable guidance and sorting of individual magnetic droplets by synchronizing field activation and droplets positions. Numerical simulations were performed to evaluate spatial distribution of both drag and magnetic forces within the microdevice. The influence of different parameters such as magnetic flux density magnitude, flow rate and orientation of the rail has been investigated. Finally, selective droplet sorting, parking and merging were demonstrated and the monitoring of parallelized enzymatic reactions was performed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8

References

  1. Abate AR, Hung T, Mary P, Agresti JJ, Weitz DA (2010) High-throughput injection with microfluidics using picoinjectors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(45):19163–19166

  2. Abbyad P, Dangla R, Alexandrou A, Baroud CN (2011) Rails and anchors: guidance and trapping droplet microreactors in two dimensions. Lab Chip 11(5):813–821

  3. Adamson DN, Mustafi D, Zhang JXJ, Zheng B, Ismagilov RF (2006) Production of arrays of chemically distinct nanolitre plugs via repeated splitting in microfluidic devices. Lab Chip 6(9):1178–1186

  4. Ahn K, Kerbage C, Hunt T, Westervelt R, Link D, Weitz D (2006) Dielectrophoretic manipulation of drops for high-speed microfluidic sorting devices. Appl Phys Lett 88(2):024104

  5. Ahn B, Lee K, Lee H, Panchapakesan R, Oh KW (2011) Parallel synchronization of two trains of droplets using a railroad-like channel network. Lab Chip 11(23):3956–3962

  6. Ali-Cherif A, Begolo S, Descroix S, Viovy JL, Malaquin L (2012) Programmable magnetic tweezers and droplet microfluidic device for high-throughput nanoliter multi-step assays. Angew Chem Int Ed 51(43):10765–10769

  7. Baigl D (2012) Photo-actuation of liquids for light-driven microfluidics: state of the art and perspectives. Lab Chip 12(19):3637–3653

  8. Baret JC, Miller OJ, Taly V, Ryckelynck M, El-Harrak A, Frenz L, Rick C, Samuels ML, Hutchison JB, Agresti JJ, Link DR, Weitz DA, Griffiths AD (2009) Fluorescence-activated droplet sorting (FADS): efficient microfluidic cell sorting based on enzymatic activity. Lab Chip 9(13):1850–1858

  9. Baroud CN, Gallaire F, Dangla R (2010) Dynamics of microfluidic droplets. Lab Chip 10(16):2032–2045

  10. Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L (2002) Biochemistry, 5th edn. W H Freeman, New York

  11. Cao Q, Han X, Li L (2014) Configurations and control of magnetic fields for manipulating magnetic particles in microfluidic applications: magnet systems and manipulation mechanisms. Lab Chip 14(15):2762–2777

  12. Chabert M, Dorfman KD, Viovy JL (2005) Droplet fusion by alternating current (AC) field electrocoalescence in microchannels. Electrophoresis 26:3706–3715

  13. Churski K, Michalski J, Garstecki P (2010) Droplet on demand system utilizing a computer controlled microvalve integrated into a stiff polymeric microfluidic device. Lab Chip 10(4):512–518

  14. Cohen DE, Schneider T, Wang M, Chiu DT (2010) Self-digitization of sample volumes. Anal Chem 82(13):5707–5717

  15. Copeland RA (2000) Enzymes: a practical introduction to structure, mechanism and data analysis, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York, USA

  16. Dangla R, Lee S, Baroud CN (2011) Trapping microfluidic drops in wells of surface energy. Phys Rev Lett 107(12):124501

  17. DeRuiter R, Pit AM, de Oliveira VM, Duits MHG, van den Ende D, Mugele F (2014) Electrostatic potential wells for on-demand drop manipulation in microchannels. Lab Chip 14(5):883–891

  18. Diguet A, Guillermic RM, Magome N, Saint-Jalmes A, Chen Y, Yoshikawa K, Baigl D (2009) Photomanipulation of a droplet by the chromocapillary effect. Angew Chem Int Ed 48(49):9281–9284

  19. Fradet E, McDougall C, Abbyad P, Dangla R, McGloin D, Baroud CN (2011) Combining rails and anchors with laser forcing for selective manipulation within 2D droplet arrays. Lab Chip 11(24):4228–4234

  20. Fuerstman MJ, Lai A, Thurlow ME, Shevkoplyas SS, Stone HA, Whitesides GM (2007) The pressure drop along rectangular microchannels containing bubbles. Lab Chip 7(11):1479–1489

  21. Holtze C, Rowat AC, Agresti JJ, Hutchison JB, Angilè FE, Schmitz CHJ, Köster S, Duan H, Humphry KJ, Scanga RA, Johnson JS, Pisignano D, Weitz DA (2008) Biocompatible surfactants for water-in-fluorocarbon emulsions. Lab Chip 8(10):1632–1639

  22. Huebner A, Bratton D, Whyte G, Yang M, Demello AJ, Abell C, Hollfelder F (2009) Static microdroplet arrays: a microfluidic device for droplet trapping, incubation and release for enzymatic and cell-based assays. Lab Chip 9(5):692–698

  23. Kengen SW, Bikker FJ, Hagen WR, de Vos WM, van der Oost J (2001) Characterization of a catalase-peroxidase from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus. Extremophiles 5(5):323–332

  24. KopfSill AR, Homsy GM (1988) Bubble motion in a Hele–Shaw cell. Phys Fluids 31(1):18–26

  25. Lacharme F, Vandevyver C, Gijs MAM (2009) Magnetic beads retention device for sandwich immunoassay: comparison of off-chip and on-chip antibody incubation. Microfluid Nanofluid 7(4):479–487

  26. Lehmann U, Hadjidj S, Parashar VK, Vandevyver C, Rida A, Gijs MAM (2006) Two-dimensional magnetic manipulation of microdroplets on a chip as a platform for bioanalytical applications. Sens Actuators B 117(2):457–463

  27. Link DR, Anna SL, Weitz DA, Stone HA (2004) Geometrically mediated breakup of drops in microfluidic devices. Phys Rev Lett 92(5):054503

  28. Long Z, Shetty AM, Solomon MJ, Larson RG (2009) Fundamentals of magnet-actuated droplet manipulation on an open hydrophobic surface. Lab Chip 9(11):1567–1575

  29. Lorenz RM, Edgar JS, Jeffries GDM, Chiu DT (2006) Microfluidic and optical systems for the on-demand generation and manipulation of single femtoliter-volume aqueous droplets. Anal Chem 78(18):6433–6439

  30. McDonald JC, Whitesides GM (2002) Poly(dimethylsiloxane) as a material for fabricating microfluidic devices. Acc Chem Res 35(7):491–499

  31. Nguyen NT, Ng KM, Huang X (2006) Manipulation of ferro fluid droplets using planar coils. Appl Phys Lett 89:052509

  32. Niu X, Gulati S, Edel JB, deMello AJ (2008) Pillar-induced droplet merging in microfluidic circuits. Lab Chip 8(11):1837–1841

  33. Ohashi T, Kuyama H, Hanafusa N, Togawa Y (2007) A simple device using magnetic transportation for droplet-based PCR. Biomed Microdevices 9(5):695–702

  34. Paustian JS, Pascall AJ, Wilson NM, Squires TM (2014) Induced charge electroosmosis micropumps using arrays of Janus micropillars. Lab Chip 14(17):3300–3312

  35. Pinheiro LB, Coleman VA, Hindson CM, Herrman J, Hindson BJ, Baht S, Emslie KR (2012) Evaluation of a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction format for DNA copy number quantification. Anal Chem 84(2):1003–1011

  36. Protière S, Bazant MZ, Weitz DA, Stone HA (2010) Droplet breakup in flow past an obstacle: a capillary instability due to permeability variations. Europhys Lett 92(5):54002

  37. Sayah A, Parashar VK, Pawlowski AG, Gijs MAM (2005) Elastomer mask for powder blasting microfabrication. Sens Actuators A 125(1):84–90

  38. Sista RS, Eckhardt AE, Srinivasan V, Pollack MG, Palanki S, Pamula VK (2008) Heterogeneous immunoassays using magnetic beads on a digital microfluidic platform. Lab Chip 8(12):2188–2196

  39. Song H, Bringer M, Tice J, Gerdts C, Ismagilov R (2003) Experimental test of scaling of mixing by chaotic advection in droplets moving through microfluidic channels. Appl Phys Lett 83(22):4664–4666

  40. Song H, Chen DL, Ismagilov RF (2006) Reactions in droplets in microfluidic channels. Angew Chem Int Ed 45(44):7336–7356

  41. Teh SY, Lin R, Hung LH, Lee AP (2008) Droplet microfluidics. Lab Chip 8(2):198–220

  42. Teste B, Ali-Cherif A, Viovy JL, Malaquin L (2013) A low cost and high throughput magnetic bead-based immuno-agglutination assay in confined droplets. Lab Chip 13(12):2344–2349

  43. Theberge AB, Courtois F, Schaerli Y, Fischlechner M, Abell C, Hollfelder F, Huck WTS (2010) Microdroplets in microfluidics: an evolving platform for discoveries in chemistry and biology. Angew Chem Int Ed 49(34):5846–5868

  44. Van Reenen A, de Jong AM, den Toonder JMJ, Menno WJP (2014) Integrated lab-on-chip biosensing systems based on magnetic particle actuation—a comprehensive review. Lab Chip 14(12):1966–1986

  45. Wang Y, Zhao Y, Cho SK (2007) Efficient in-droplet separation of magnetic particles for digital microfluidics. J Micromech Microeng 17(10):2148–2156

  46. Zagnoni M, Cooper J (2009) On-chip electrocoalescence of microdroplets as a function of voltage, frequency and droplet size. Lab Chip 9(18):2652–2658

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank R. Fert and Q. He for their help in master fabrication and micromilling, and Prof. Andrew Griffiths for providing the surfactant used in these experiments. This work was supported in part by the Digidiag project (ANR) from the French government, the ARC fundation, the FPGG and by ERC “CellO” from European Union.

Author information

Correspondence to Laurent Malaquin.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Teste, B., Jamond, N., Ferraro, D. et al. Selective handling of droplets in a microfluidic device using magnetic rails. Microfluid Nanofluid 19, 141–153 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10404-015-1556-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Droplet microfluidics
  • Droplet handling
  • Magnetic particles
  • Magnetic guidance
  • Parallel measurements