Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 907–914 | Cite as

Advanced microfluidic droplet manipulation based on piezoelectric actuation

  • Jonathan Shemesh
  • Avishay Bransky
  • Maria Khoury
  • Shulamit LevenbergEmail author


As droplet-based microfluidic devices evolve, the demand for simple-to-fabricate droplet manipulation modules increases. Of these modules, droplet sorting has drawn much attention due to its ability not only to enrich, but also to selectively isolate droplet subpopulations of interest. In this paper, we present an innovative piezoelectric-driven droplet sorter that is simple to fabricate, reproducible and robust, which provides extensive control over spatio-temporal droplet pattern. This degree of control is demonstrated by sorting droplets of alternating volumes and by grouping defined number of droplets into traveling clusters. The ability to automatically sort droplets is demonstrated by computerized detection and sorting of droplets based on their color. The sorter performance was investigated and found to work on a wide range of sorting parameters. The sorter is created by a single step fabrication process and does not rely on complex electronics or optics. These advantages simplify the adoption of droplet-based microfluidic technology by the scientific community and provide an ideal platform for single cell assays.


Droplet Microfluidics Sorting Piezoelectric Clustering Indexing 



This work was supported by the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion, Israel.


  1. K. Ahn, C. Kerbage, T.P. Hunt, R.M. Westervelt, D.R. Link, D.A. Weitz, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 024104 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. S.L. Anna, N. Bontoux, H.A. Stone, Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 364–366 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. J.C. Baret, O.J. Miller, V. Taly, M. Ryckelynck, A. El-Harrak, L. Frenz, C. Rick, M.L. Samuels, J.B. Hutchison, J.J. Agresti, D.R. Link, D.A. Weitz, A.D. Griffiths, Lab Chip 9, 1850–1858 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. C.N. Baroud, J.P. Delville, F. Gallaire, R. Wunenburger, Phys. Rev. E 75, 046302 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. A. Bransky, N. Korin, M. Khoury, S. Levenberg, Lab Chip 9, 516–520 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. E. Brouzes, M. Medkova, N. Savenelli, D. Marran, M. Twardowski, J.B. Hutchison, J.M. Rothberg, D.R. Link, N. Perrimon, M.L. Samuels, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 106, 14195–14200 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. C.H. Chen, S.H. Cho, F. Tsai, A. Erten, Y. Lo, Biomed. Microdevices 11, 1223–1231 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. J. Clausell-Tormos, D. Lieber, J.C. Baret, A. El-Harrak, O.J. Miller, L. Frenz, J. Blouwolff, K.J. Humphry, S. Köster, H. Duan, C. Holtze, D.A. Weitz, A.D. Griffiths, C.A. Merten, Chem. Biol. 15, 427–437 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. K. Cottingham, Anal. Chem. 77, 73A–76A (2005)Google Scholar
  10. P.S. Dittrich, A. Manz, Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 5, 210–218 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. J.F. Edd, D. Di Carlo, K.J. Humphry, S. Köster, D. Irimia, D.A. Weitz, M. Toner, Lab Chip 8, 1262–1264 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. W. Engl, M. Roche, A. Colin, P. Panizza, A. Ajdari, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 208304 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. T. Franke, A. R. Abate, D. A. Weitz, A. Wixforth, Lab Chip, (2009). doi: 10.1039/b906819h
  14. P.R.C. Gascoyne, J.V. Vykoukal, J.A. Schwartz, T.J. Anderson, D.M. Vykoukal, K.W. Current, C. McConaghy, F.F. Becker, C. Andrews, Lab Chip 4, 299–309 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. A. Huebner, S. Sharma, M. Srisa-Art, F. Hollfelder, J.B. Edel, A.J. deMello, Lab Chip 8, 1244–1254 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. L.H. Hung, K.M. Choi, W.Y. Tseng, Y.C. Tan, K.J. Shea, A.P. Lee, Lab Chip 6, 174–178 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. H.N. Joensson, M.L. Samuels, E.R. Brouzes, M. Medkova, M. Uhlén, D.R. Link, H. Andersson-Svahn, Angew. Chem. 48, 2518–2521 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. S. Köster, F.E. Angilè, H. Duan, J.J. Agresti, A. Wintner, C. Schmitz, A.C. Rowat, C.A. Merten, D. Pisignano, A.D. Griffiths, D.A. Weitz, Lab Chip 8, 1110–1115 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. J.R. Kovac, J. Voldman, Anal. Chem. 79, 9321–9330 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. D.J. Laser, J.G. Santiago, J. Micromech, Microeng. 14, R35–R64 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. L. Mazutis, J.C. Baret, A.D. Griffiths, Lab Chip 9, 2665–2672 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. M.A. McClain, C.T. Culbertson, S.C. Jacobson, J.M. Ramsey, Anal. Chem. 73, 5334–5338 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. E. Miller, M. Rotea, J. P. Rothstein, Lab chip (2010). doi: 10.1039/b925497h
  24. R. Mukhopadhyay, Anal. Chem. 77, 429A–432A (2005)Google Scholar
  25. L.S. Pan, T.Y. Ng, X.H. Wu, H.P. Lee, J. Microelectromech, Syst 13, 390–399 (2003)Google Scholar
  26. R. Sista, Z. Hua, P. Thwar, A. Sudarsan, V. Srinivasan, A. Eckhardt, M. Pollack, V. Pamula, Lab Chip 8, 2091–2104 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. H. Song, M.R. Bringer, J.D. Tice, C.J. Gerdts, R.F. Ismagilov, Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 4664–4666 (2003a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. H. Song, J.D. Tice, R.F. Ismagilov, Angew. Chem. 42, 768–772 (2003b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. H. Song, D.L. Chen, R.F. Ismagilov, Angew. Chem. 45, 7336–7356 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. S. Teh, R. Lin, L. Hung, A.P. Lee, Lab Chip 8, 198–220 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. J. Teissie, M. Golzio, M.P. Rols, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1724, 270–280 (2005)Google Scholar
  32. T.H. Ting, Y.F. Yap, N.T. Nguyen, T.N. Wong, J.C.K. Chai, L. Yobas, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 234101 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. A. van den Berg, Lab Chip 8, 1779–1780 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. S.A. Vanapalli, A.G. Banpurkar, D. van den Ende, M.H.G. Duits, F. Mugele, Lab Chip 9, 982–990 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Y. Zhang, V. Bailey, C.M. Puleo, H. Easwaran, E. Griffiths, J.G. Herman, S.B. Baylin, T.H. Wang, Lab Chip 9, 1059–1064 (2009a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. C. Zhang, K. Khoshmanesh, A. Mitchell and K. Kalantar-zadeh. Anal Bioanal. Chem. (2009b). doi: 10.1007/s00216-009-2922-6
  37. B. Zheng, R.F. Ismagilov, Angew. Chem. 44, 2520–2523 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. B. Zheng, J.D. Tice, L.S. Roach, R.F. Ismagilov, Angew. Chem. 116, 2562–2565 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. S. Zheng, J.Q. Liu, Y.C. Tai, J. Microelectromech, Syst 17, 1029–1038 (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Shemesh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Avishay Bransky
    • 1
  • Maria Khoury
    • 1
  • Shulamit Levenberg
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Biomedical EngineeringTechnionHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Russell Berrie Nanotechnology InstituteTechnionHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations