Droplet dispensing in digital microfluidic devices: Assessment of long-term reproducibility




Elvira, Katherine S.
Leatherbarrow, Robin
Edel, Joshua
deMello, Andrew

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We report an in-depth study of the long-term reproducibility and reliability of droplet dispensing in digital microfluidic devices (DMF). This involved dispensing droplets from a reservoir, measuring the volume of both the droplet and the reservoir droplet and then returning the daughter droplet to the original reservoir. The repetition of this process over the course of several hundred iterations offers, for the first time, a long-term view of droplet dispensing in DMF devices. Results indicate that the ratio between the spacer thickness and the electrode size influences the reliability of droplet dispensing. In addition, when the separation between the plates is large, the volume of the reservoir greatly affects the reproducibility in the volume of the dispensed droplets, creating “reliability regimes.” We conclude that droplet dispensing exhibits superior reliability as interplate device spacing is decreased, and the daughter droplet volume is most consistent when the reservoir volume matches that of the reservoir electrode.




Elvira, K.S., Leatherbarrow, R., Edel, J. & deMello, A. (2012). Droplet dispending in digital microfluidic devices: Assessment of long-term reproducibility. Biomicrofluidics, 6(2), 022003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3693592