Microfluidic bead encapsulation above 20 kHz with triggered drop formation

Lab Chip. 2018 Dec 7;18(23):3598-3605. doi: 10.1039/c8lc00514a. Epub 2018 Oct 26.


Microsphere beads are functionalized with oligonucleotides, antibodies, and other moieties to enable specific detection of analytes. Droplet microfluidics leverages this for single-molecule or -cell analysis by pairing beads and targets in water-in-oil droplets. Pairing is achieved with devices operating in the dripping regime, limiting throughput. Here, we describe a pairing method that uses beads to trigger the breakup of a jet into monodispersed droplets. We use the method to pair 105 Human T cells with polyacrylamide beads ten times faster than methods operating in the dripping regime. Our method improves the throughput of bead-based droplet workflows, enabling analysis of large populations and the detection of rare events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Capsules
  • Elasticity
  • Equipment Design
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Microspheres*
  • Single-Cell Analysis


  • Capsules