Droplet-based microfluidics R&D

Droplet-based microfluidics is a field of research requiring multidisciplinary skills in the field of physics, physicochemistry, chemistry and engineering. Biochemistry reactions, cell and bacterial culture are co-optimized to meet specific needs. Examples below illustrate some achievements in these different fields.

Physics: Microfluidic modules

We have developed a range of microfluidic modules dedicated to droplet manipulation. The microdroplets can be made and manipulated at a frequency of up to 1,000 s-1 (1 kHz), which is 1,000-times faster than existing high throughput screening technologies (up to 100,000 assays per day, or 1 s-1).

See some movies of droplet manipulation in the Gallery section

Physico-chemistry: droplet stability, droplet fusion...

We have studied different aspects of droplet stability in microfluidic systems.

An example of recent work in this field is the study of dynamics of molecular transport by surfactants in emulsions described in the article of Skhiri et al. in Soft Matter.

Chemistry: surfactant synthesis

We have performed the synthesis of new biocompatible surfactants. The aim was to improve the survival and proliferation of human cells, and even a multicellular organism (C. elegans) within the microcompartments for several days, such as described in the article of Clausell-Tormos et al. in Chemistry and Biology.

We have shown that droplets can be used as interesting chemical reactors. An example is the synthesis of magnetic particles in droplets, as described in the paper of Frenz et al. in Angewandte Chemie

Engineering: microfluidic stations

Droplet-based microfluidics takes place on microfluidic stations, which integrate optical, electronical, fluidic components and are controlled by custom-made softwares.