A microfluidic droplet-storage array that is capable of the continuous operation of droplet formation, storing, repositioning, retrieving, injecting and restoring is demonstrated. The microfluidic chip comprised four valve-assisted droplet generators and a 3 x 16 droplet-storage array. The integrated pneumatically actuated microvalves enable the precise control of aqueous phase dispensing, as well as carrier fluid flow path and direction for flexible manipulating water-in-oil droplets in the chip. The size of droplets formed by the valve-assisted droplet generators was validated under various operating conditions such as pressures for introducing solutions and dispensing time. In addition, flexible droplet addressing in the storage array was demonstrated by storing droplets with various numbers and compositions in dierent storage units as well as rearranging their stored positions. Moreover, serial injections of new droplets into a retrieved droplet from a storage unit was performed to show the potential of the platform in sequential dosing on incubated droplet-based reactors at the desired timeline. The droplet-storage array with great freedom and flexibility in droplet handling could be applied for performing complex chemical and biologic reactions, especially in which incubation and dosing steps are necessary.
- Droplet array