Image-Based Feedback of Multi-Component Microdroplets for Ultra-Monodispersed Library Preparation

Christy Cantwell, John S. Mcgrath, Clive A. Smith, Graeme Whyte

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Using devices with microfluidic channels can allow for precise control over liquids flowing through them. Merging flows of immiscible liquids can create emulsions with highly monodispersed microdroplets within a carrier liquid, which are ideal for miniaturised reaction vessels which can be generated with a high throughput of tens of thousands of droplets per second. Control of the size and composition of these droplets is generally performed by controlling the pumping system pushing the liquids into the device; however, this is an indirect manipulation and inadequate if absolute precision is required in the size or composition of the droplets. In this work, we extend the previous development of image-based closed-loop feedback control over microdroplet generation to allow for the control of not only the size of droplets but also the composition by merging two aqueous flows. The feedback allows direct control over the desired parameters of volume and ratio of the two components over a wide range of ratios and outperforms current techniques in terms of monodispersity in volume and composition. This technique is ideal for situations where precise control over droplets is critical, or where a library of droplets of different concentrations but the same volume is required.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2023


  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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