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Interdroplet bilayer arrays in millifluidic droplet traps from 3D-printed moulds

Interdroplet bilayer arrays in millifluidic droplet traps from 3D-printed moulds
Interdroplet bilayer arrays in millifluidic droplet traps from 3D-printed moulds
In droplet microfluidics, aqueous droplets are typically separated by an oil phase to ensure containment of molecules in individual droplets of nano-to-picoliter volume. An interesting variation of this method involves bringing two phospholipid-coated droplets into contact to form a lipid bilayer in-between the droplets. These interdroplet bilayers, created by manual pipetting of microliter droplets, have proved advantageous for the study of membrane transport phenomena, including ion channel electrophysiology. In this study, we adapted the droplet microfluidics methodology to achieve automated formation of interdroplet lipid bilayer arrays. We developed a ‘millifluidic’ chip for microliter droplet generation and droplet packing, which is cast from a 3D-printed mould. Droplets of 0.7–6.0 μL volume were packed as homogeneous or heterogeneous linear arrays of 2–9 droplets that were stable for at least six hours. The interdroplet bilayers had an area of up to 0.56 mm2, or an equivalent diameter of up to 850 μm, as determined from capacitance measurements. We observed osmotic water transfer over the bilayers as well as sequential bilayer lysis by the pore-forming toxin melittin. These millifluidic interdroplet bilayer arrays combine the ease of electrical and optical access of manually pipetted microdroplets with the automation and reproducibility of microfluidic technologies. Moreover, the 3D-printing based fabrication strategy enables the rapid implementation of alternative channel geometries, e.g. branched arrays, with a design-to-device time of just 24–48 hours.
1473-0197
722-729
King, Philip H.
3a0f2b7e-b08a-46b2-abef-89be45c2a7d5
Jones, Gareth
469d05ca-944e-43cd-91bc-12074c13848e
Morgan, Hywel
de00d59f-a5a2-48c4-a99a-1d5dd7854174
de Planque, Maurits R.R.
a1d33d13-f516-44fb-8d2c-c51d18bc21ba
Zauner, Klaus-Peter
c8b22dbd-10e6-43d8-813b-0766f985cc97
King, Philip H.
3a0f2b7e-b08a-46b2-abef-89be45c2a7d5
Jones, Gareth
469d05ca-944e-43cd-91bc-12074c13848e
Morgan, Hywel
de00d59f-a5a2-48c4-a99a-1d5dd7854174
de Planque, Maurits R.R.
a1d33d13-f516-44fb-8d2c-c51d18bc21ba
Zauner, Klaus-Peter
c8b22dbd-10e6-43d8-813b-0766f985cc97

King, Philip H., Jones, Gareth, Morgan, Hywel, de Planque, Maurits R.R. and Zauner, Klaus-Peter (2014) Interdroplet bilayer arrays in millifluidic droplet traps from 3D-printed moulds. Lab on a Chip, 14 (4), 722-729. (doi:10.1039/C3LC51072G).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In droplet microfluidics, aqueous droplets are typically separated by an oil phase to ensure containment of molecules in individual droplets of nano-to-picoliter volume. An interesting variation of this method involves bringing two phospholipid-coated droplets into contact to form a lipid bilayer in-between the droplets. These interdroplet bilayers, created by manual pipetting of microliter droplets, have proved advantageous for the study of membrane transport phenomena, including ion channel electrophysiology. In this study, we adapted the droplet microfluidics methodology to achieve automated formation of interdroplet lipid bilayer arrays. We developed a ‘millifluidic’ chip for microliter droplet generation and droplet packing, which is cast from a 3D-printed mould. Droplets of 0.7–6.0 μL volume were packed as homogeneous or heterogeneous linear arrays of 2–9 droplets that were stable for at least six hours. The interdroplet bilayers had an area of up to 0.56 mm2, or an equivalent diameter of up to 850 μm, as determined from capacitance measurements. We observed osmotic water transfer over the bilayers as well as sequential bilayer lysis by the pore-forming toxin melittin. These millifluidic interdroplet bilayer arrays combine the ease of electrical and optical access of manually pipetted microdroplets with the automation and reproducibility of microfluidic technologies. Moreover, the 3D-printing based fabrication strategy enables the rapid implementation of alternative channel geometries, e.g. branched arrays, with a design-to-device time of just 24–48 hours.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 December 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 December 2013
Published date: 30 January 2014
Organisations: Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology, Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358582
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358582
ISSN: 1473-0197
PURE UUID: 53d71f70-1b9d-458f-9fc6-dfb263432f1b
ORCID for Hywel Morgan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4850-5676
ORCID for Maurits R.R. de Planque: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8787-0513

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Oct 2013 16:13
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 06:53

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Contributors

Author: Philip H. King
Author: Gareth Jones
Author: Hywel Morgan ORCID iD
Author: Maurits R.R. de Planque ORCID iD
Author: Klaus-Peter Zauner

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