On-chip Droplet Generator

Create a culture microenvironment within micro‑scale aqueous droplets

The On-chip Droplet Generator allows mass production of micrometer-sized water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion droplets and gel microdrops (GMDs) with a unique microfluidic chip. The individual droplets function as miniaturized vessels for reactions such as microbial/cell cultivation and genetic analysis. Droplet technology is now recognized as a prominent high-throughput screening method allowing single cell analysis or simultaneous assay of more than 1 million samples.

Enhance your research using On-chip Droplet Generator

  • Exploration of novel microorganisms in the environment
    Encapsulation, cultivation, and isolation of a variety of microorganisms including soil microorganisms, intestinal microbiota or marine microorganisms
  • Development of highly productive strains
    Detection and separation of enzymes and metabolites secreted in droplets
  • Screening of antibody-producing cells
    Development of stable and productive antibody-forming cell lines

Features of the On-chip Droplet Generator

Easy generation of stable droplets
Mass production of stable and monodisperse droplets can be simply performed by putting reagent in each reservoir and applying pressure.

Easy adjustment of droplet size
Droplet size can be easily adjusted between 60 μm and 120 μm in diameter by regulating the pressure applied to sample and oil reservoirs.

Real-time monitoring of droplet generation
Droplet size can be viewed and monitored real-time with the supplied monitoring device.

Select the type of droplet to be generated

The On-chip Droplet Generator can generate two types of droplets:
“Water-in-Oil (W/O) droplets” and “Gel Microdrops (GMDs)”.

Utilization of the On-chip Droplet Generator and the On-chip Sort

Droplets produced by the On-chip Droplet Generator can be screened at a high throughput manner by our microfluidic chip-based cell sorter, the On-chip Sort. On-chip Sort is capable of using oil as the sheath fluid for analyzing and sorting of W/O emulsion droplets.

On-chip Sort utilizes microfluidic chip technology that allows oil to be used as sheath fluid,
which makes the selection of W/O droplets with microorganisms possible.

Sorting of droplets containing proliferated cells

W/O and GMD droplets containing proliferated cells encapsulated by On-chip Droplet Generator can be sorted on On-chip Sort.

Examples are:

  1. Sorting of E. coli encapsulated and incubated in the W/O droplets based on the fluorescence of GFP (expression within E. coli) as an indicator.
  2. Sorting of Tetrahymena encapsulated and incubated in the W/O droplets based on the autofluorescence as an indicator.
  3. Sorting of A549 encapsulated and incubated in the GMD based on the fluorescence of GFP as an indicator.

Detection of microorganisms proliferated within W/O droplets

A simple and reliable selective sorting method that allows bacteria containing droplets to be isolated on On-chip Sort has been developed. W/O droplets containing bacteria were sorted based on the fluorescence produced as a result of the interaction between bacteria and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based RNA probe encapsulated inside the droplets. This method is named Fluorescent Nucleic Acid Probe in droplets for Sorting bacteria (FNAP-sort) .

An increase in the fluorescence intensity of E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Streptomyces aureofaciens or Bradyrhizobium japonicum cultivated as model microorganisms was identified in the droplets in which these microorganisms proliferated. The use of this system allows screening based on the proliferative activity in the environment and other cellular events.

Collaboration with Research Group Leader Noda, AIST, Biomedical Research Institute Ota, Y., Saito, K. et al. PLoS ONE 14(4): e0214533. Under the licence of Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ).

Instrument Details

The On-chip Droplet Generator set up consists of the main unit for supplying pressure, monitoring unit for real-time monitoring of droplet, and temperature controller for precise temperature adjustment

Specifications On-chip Droplet Generator 
Main unit  Size 270 x 270 x 280 mm (W x D x H)
Liquid delivery pressure 0.1 – 80.0 kPa
Maximum liquid delivery line 3 lines (sample, oil, other reagents)
Droplet size generated  Diameter 60 – 120 μm (can be adjusted discretionally)
Generation rate Approx. 100,000 droplets/3 min (at generation of 100 μm droplets)
Regulation Laptop PC (Windows 10)
Power input AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz
Power consumption 1.2A typ (ACIN 100V)
Unit Size of monitoring unit 215 x 310 x 430 mm (W x D x H)
Accessories Monitoring camera, Peltier unit, controller
Temperature range -5°C – 70 °C
Ambient environment Temperature 5 – 40°C, humidity ≤ 85%RH
Power input DC24V
Power consumption 6.5A max

Chip & holder

Stable mass production of droplets with a simple operation

Samples applied  Aqueous solution, culture medium, gel solution, etc.
Oils applied  Fluorinated oil
Chip material  COP
Fluid channel size 60 μm × 60μm
Generation time  Depends on the composition of sample or oil, or the pressure applied
Reservoir volume Sample - up to 640μL; Oil - up to 2300μL
Number of droplets generated Approx. 100,000 droplets (diameter 100 μm, in approx. 3 min)
Product No. Product name Product outline
1003003 2D Chip-1060DG Droplet generation chip
(10 chips/box)
40006 1060DG Chip Holder Special chip holder, Tube rack, Glass vials

Product#: 1003003

Product#: 40006

FluoroSurfactant Oil

Product#: 2003003

Product#: 2003004

Excellent fluorinated oil for making stable droplets

Product No. Product name Product outline
2003003 On-chip® FluoroSurfactant-5wtH Oil Volume: 10mL
-5% FluoroSurfactant Oil
2003004 On-chip® FluoroSurfactant-0.1wtH Oil Volume: 100mL
0.1% FluoroSurfactant Oil

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