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Single-Fluorophore Detection in Femtolitre Droplets Generated by Flow Focussing

journal contribution
posted on 2015-10-26, 10:28 authored by Robert Weinmeister, Emma Freeman, Ian C. Eperon, Alison M. Stuart, Andrew J. Hudson
Aqueous microdroplets with a volume of a few femtolitres are an ideal sample size for single molecule fluorescence experiments. In particular, they enable prolonged measurements to be made on individual molecules that can diffuse freely in the surrounding medium. However, the rapid production of monodisperse droplets in a hydrodynamic flow, such as microfluidic flow focussing, will often involve volumes that are typically too large (>0.5 pl) for single molecule studies. Desired volumes of a few femtolitres, or smaller, can be produced by either tip streaming or step emulsification in a flow-focussing device; however, in both of these methods, the aqueous droplets are dispersed in a large volume of the continuous phase, where individual dropets can diffuse perpendicular to the flow direction, and the monodispersity of droplet size produced by tip streaming is difficult to sustain for more than transient timescales. We show here that the optimised design and fabrication of microfluidic devices with shallow channel depths can result in the reliable production of stable droplets of a few femtolitres at a high rate in the dripping regime of flow focussing. Furthermore, the generated microdroplets are localised in a two-dimensional plane to enable immediate analysis. We have demonstrated the fluorescence monitoring of single molecules of encapsulated green fluorescent protein. The apparatus is straightfoward, inexpensive and readily assembled within an ordinary laboratory environment.

History

Citation

ACS Nano, 2015 (Published before print)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/MBSP Non-Medical Departments/Molecular & Cell Biology

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

ACS Nano

Publisher

American Chemical Society

issn

1936-0851

eissn

1936-086X

Acceptance date

2015-09-12

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2016-09-13

Publisher version

http://pubsdc3.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.5b02422

Notes

The file associated with this record is under a 12-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy, available at http://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/jpa/index.html

Language

en

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