Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 921–939 | Cite as

Review and analysis of performance metrics of droplet microfluidics systems

  • Liat Rosenfeld
  • Tiras Lin
  • Ratmir Derda
  • Sindy K. Y. Tang
Research Paper

Abstract

Droplet microfluidics has enabled many recent applications in high-throughput screening and diagnostics. Little work has been done, however, to analyze the performance of droplet-based assays. This review aims to apply what is known in the literature to the analysis of the performance metrics of droplet-based assays, with specific relevance to diagnostic and biomedical applications based on two processes: enzymatic reactions and cell culture in droplets. By considering the physical scaling of individual processes—droplet generation, reaction kinetics, cell growth, and droplet interrogation—it is possible to extract a practical relationship between input parameters (e.g., droplet size and droplet polydispersity) and the output characteristics (e.g., throughput, dynamic range, and accuracy) of the assay. This review can serve as a guide to the design of droplet-based assays for achieving desired performance. While the focus is on assays based on enzymatic reactions and cell cultures, a similar analysis can be applied to other assays based on polymerase chain reaction and the detection of nucleic acids.

Keywords

Droplet microfluidics Performance metrics High-throughput screening Diagnostics 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liat Rosenfeld
    • 1
  • Tiras Lin
    • 1
  • Ratmir Derda
    • 2
  • Sindy K. Y. Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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