Tue. May 28th, 2024

Microfluidic chip technology is revolutionizing the field of microbiology and fluid dynamics by providing a new approach to droplet generation and sample enrichment. This innovative technology combines fluid dynamics, computational simulations, and deep learning models to focus cells and particles, encapsulate them into droplets, and determine their concentration.

The design of the microfluidic chip includes a double spiral focusing unit, a sample enrichment module with adjustable outlets, and a droplet generation unit. By using a low-density cell bead suspension, the chip can focus cells and beads into a linear arrangement within the microchannel. The adjustable flow resistance at the sample enrichment module allows for the removal of the aqueous phase.

A study investigated the impact of flow rate, bead concentration, and chip stiffness on droplet generation and cell/particle encapsulation efficiency. The optimized parameters for single-bead encapsulation were found to be a flow rate of 80 μL/min, a bead concentration of 2 × 10 beads/mL, and 4 serpentine units. The study also demonstrated successful encapsulation of cells and highlighted the importance of cell density in suspension for encapsulation efficiency.

The microfluidic chip technology has various applications, including precise microbial enumeration tests (MET) in industries such as pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food. The chip’s design ensures high-resolution imaging and eliminates the need for fluorescent staining. Deep-learning algorithms are used for bacterial counts.

In addition to its applications in microbiology, microfluidic chip technology has potential applications in the detection of illicit drugs. The development of a disposable microfluidic multichannel sensor system is underway to automatically record fingerprints of illicit drugs in different pH solutions.

Overall, microfluidic chip technology represents a significant advancement in microbiology and fluid dynamics. Its applications and efficiency are expected to continue evolving, potentially revolutionizing various industries, including pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food.

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