The commercialization of micro and nanofluidic devices has had promise for providing novel solutions to deliver high throughput, more efficient, integrated biological and chemical analysis tools. This presentation addresses the commercialization perspectives of integrating on the micro and nanoscale acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) for high throughput (HT) applications with mass spectrometry (MS) and gel electrophoresis (GE).
First highlighted are the physical principles of ADE and the key technologies that enable robust acoustic liquid handling operations—namely the ability to: probe the properties of the fluid; adjust in real-time to account for dynamic surface tension and viscosity variations, determine the acoustic energy required for ejection; and to impart charge on the droplet to aid in droplet transfer.
Next, we explore the commercialization perspectives for HT applications in different modalities to explore directly acoustically loading samples into MS, enabling true HT screening in a label-free format, and to explore the low volume transfer of proteins in solution into a microfluidic gel device for a GE assay. For the GE assay, we demonstrate 100 nL per well transfers of free antigen-binding (FAB) fragments in solution; Kd is extracted; and >80% improvement in assay precision and throughput compared to manual operation.
In conclusion, commercialization perspectives are addressed with these high throughput applications with ADE and the need to integrate “big data” collection to support further HT applications in the development of microfluidic devices.