Picoinjection of microfluidic drops without metal electrodes

J Vis Exp. 2014 Apr 18;(86):50913. doi: 10.3791/50913.

Abstract

Existing methods for picoinjecting reagents into microfluidic drops require metal electrodes integrated into the microfluidic chip. The integration of these electrodes adds cumbersome and error-prone steps to the device fabrication process. We have developed a technique that obviates the needs for metal electrodes during picoinjection. Instead, it uses the injection fluid itself as an electrode, since most biological reagents contain dissolved electrolytes and are conductive. By eliminating the electrodes, we reduce device fabrication time and complexity, and make the devices more robust. In addition, with our approach, the injection volume depends on the voltage applied to the picoinjection solution; this allows us to rapidly adjust the volume injected by modulating the applied voltage. We demonstrate that our technique is compatible with reagents incorporating common biological compounds, including buffers, enzymes, and nucleic acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / chemistry
  • Electrodes
  • Electrolytes / chemistry
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods*
  • Microinjections / instrumentation*
  • Microinjections / methods*

Substances

  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Electrolytes