Real-time precise microfluidic droplets label-sequencing

Droplets microfluidics is broadening the range of Lab on a Chip solutions that, however, still suffer from the lack of an adequate level of integration of optical detection and sensors. In fact, droplets are currently monitored by imaging techniques, mostly limited by time-consuming data post-processing and big data storage. This work aims to overcome this weakness, presenting a fully integrated opto-microfluidics platform able to detect, label and characterize droplets without the need for imaging techniques. It consists of optical waveguides arranged in a Mach Zehnder’s configuration and a microfluidic circuit both coupled in the same substrate. As a proof of concept, the work demonstrates the performances of this opto-microfluidic platform in performing a complete and simultaneous sequence labelling and identification of every single droplet, in terms of its optical properties, as well as velocity and lengths. Since the sensor is realized in lithium niobate crystals, which is also highly resistant to chemical attack and biocompatible, the future addition of multifunctional stages into the same substrate can be easily envisioned, extending the range of applicability of the final device.”


precise microfluidic droplets label-sequencing

“Overview of the MZI integrated system. The picture in (a) is the final device with microfluidic circuit and MZI configuration, the sketch evidences the detection of MZI, which splits the light into two arms, both interacting separately with the microfluidic channel and droplets flowing inside. (b) and (c) report examples of the intensity signal collected at the output of the waveguide when droplets flow inside the microfluidic channel and interacts with light from branches 1 and 2.” Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Zamboni et al., Sci. Rep., 2021.


Figures and the abstract are reproduced from Zamboni et al.,  Sci. Rep., 2021 under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Read the original article: Real-time precise microfluidic droplets label-sequencing combined in a velocity detection sensor