Rapid modulation of droplet composition with pincer microvalves

Lab Chip. 2015 Jan 7;15(1):52-6. doi: 10.1039/c4lc01040j.


Single-layer membrane valves are simple to fabricate and to integrate into microfluidic devices. However, due to their rectangular flow channel geometry, they do not fully seal. Here, we show that liquid flow can be reduced by over 3 orders of magnitude, enabling the contents of forming droplets to be dynamically modulated. We use this precision control to perform combinatorial DNA synthesis in the droplets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*


  • Membranes, Artificial