Selective Droplet Splitting Using Single Layer Microfluidic Valves

Mohammad Reza Raveshi, Sagar N. Agnihotri, Muhsincan Sesen, Rajneesh Bhardwaj, Adrian Neild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Droplet microfluidics, with its small scale isolated samples, offers huge potential in the further miniaturisation of high throughput screening. The challenge is to deliver multiple samples in a manner such that reactions can be performed in numerous permutations. The present study investigates the use of single layer valves to break up individual droplets selectively. This splitting of large droplets, allows the main sample volume to navigate around the chip, with smaller daughter droplets being removed at desired locations. As such, the mother droplet is no longer an isolated sample akin to an on-chip test tube, but rather a mobile sample delivery system akin to an on-chip pipette. The partitioning takes place at the entrance to a bypass loop of the main channel. Under normal operating conditions the droplet passes the entrance intact, however, when a valve located at the entrance to the bypass loop is actuated, the geometry changes causes the droplet to split. We analyse this transition in behaviour for a range of oil and water inlets, and valve actuation pressures, showing that the valve can be actuated such that the next droplet to pass the bypass loop will be split, but subsequent droplets will not be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Early online date24 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Droplet microfluidics
  • Pneumatic microvalves
  • Selectivity
  • Single layer
  • Splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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