Pneumatic Pressure Control: An Open-Source Droplet Microfluidic System
Gao, Run Ze
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Open-source droplet microfluidic systems are envisioned to decrease the barriers to entry for exploration in new microfluidic research areas and increase adoptions in existing areas such as micro total analysis systems. At the heart of droplet microfluidics systems is a pneumatic pressure control system, which produces pulseless pressure-driven flow to manipulate nanoliter-sized droplet movement in microfluidic environments. Currently, this device remains a barrier regarding cost and performance. Commercially available off-the-shelf and customized systems offer high performance at a premium price and are proprietary which cannot be upgraded or modified. In-house built systems often do not exist due to long development cycles from the ground up. Hence, other than dedicated droplet microfluidics groups, compromises regarding the cost to performance ratio and development flexibility are taken by most.