Droplet-based Microfluidic Separation Technology for High-throughput Magnetic Bead-based Immunoassays
Oh, Kwang Principal Investigator
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Abstract The objective of this research is to advance droplet-based microfluidic separation platform technology. The approach is combining on-demand high-speed electrostatic droplet manipulation and in-droplet particle separation. This research aims to develop individual droplet manipulation modules capable of the subtractive (in-droplet separation), associated additive (synchronization, fusion, and division), and supplementary functions (droplet charging and multiple/combinatorial droplet generation). Then, two concept-of-principle applications will be demonstrated by integrating the proposed modules: one with a single binding-separation step (streptavidin-biotin binding assay) and the other with a double binding-separation step (mouse IgG sandwich immunoassay). Intellectual Merits: The advantages of the proposed droplet-based microfluidic separation platform include the unique in-droplet separation, the ability to digitally manipulate droplets at a very high-throughput, the robust electrostatic droplet manipulation, the possibility of multiple/combinatorial droplet generation, and the possibility of many different types of on-chip operations. If successful, the advanced platform technology will have transformative applications in many biological and clinical areas, such as protein/cells separation, DNA/RNA purification, and immunoassay/molecular diagnostics. Broader Impacts: This research develops an interdisciplinary educational and research environment that accelerates the creation of a new generation of workforce at the interface of life science and technology. The proposed pedagogical focus on teaching BioMEMS-related courses will improve students? engineering skills, such as critical thinking, communication, presentation, and hands-on skills. Through the PI's SMALL (nanobio Sensors and MicroActuators Learning Lab) Honors Internship Program (SHIP), K-12 minorities, underrepresented college students, and international exchange students will be motivated to become interdisciplinary engineers.