Junrui Yang, Zitian Chen, Yanyi Huang
The micro-droplet generator is a automated lab machine made by myself. It uses the shear force at the opening of a fast moving nano-pipette to generate massive amount of equally-sized oil droplets in water. The machine plays a very important role in preparation of DNA-encoded dynamic libraries.
Producing micro droplets is a very essential procedure in genetic sequencing, including dPCR. However, the conventional equipment, a type of microfluidic chip, used to generate them is extremely expensive. This machine I make is a very powerful replacement for the original solution, with the benefit of high throughput and low cost. In addition, the same technology used in micro-droplet generator can also used in parallel, providing new possibilities for droplet generation. Micro-droplet generator also have a significant advantage that it will only introduce little sample loss (about a few microliter, significantly less than microfluidic chip), making it a perfect equipment in droplet generation.
Micro-droplet generator have a motor to drive a micro pipette to move water droplet around in the substrate oil, utilizing the shear force generated between the pipette and the substrate, small droplet will break down on the needle tip. During work, the generated control air pump and motor to create a constant pressure on pipette and constant speed for motor to create evenly distributed micro droplet. Currently, the generator can generate droplet effectively for diameter target than 100 micrometer with the same speed as conventional solution. In the future, the same technology can be used in generate droplet in parallel, which is a great advantage over other solutions.