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(a) Schematic of valve-based microfluidic sorter. The sorter consists of a spacing device and a sorting device, indicated by the arrows. (b) When the sorting signal is off, all drops flow into the waste channel, due to a slight asymmetry at the bifurcation. (c) When the sorting signal is on, the valve inverts the asymmetry, forcing fluorescent drops in the collection channel.
Example of a drop being sorted. When the fluorescent drop passes through the laser, it emits a burst of light, . This triggers actuation of the valve, , forcing the drop into the collection channel, ; nonfluorescent dark drops do not trigger the valve, and thus pass into the waste channel.
Sorting errors. (a) Vertical and horizontal location after sorting of dark drops (black circles) and light drops (white circles). (b) Vertical location as a function of drop intensity after sorting. Correctly sorted drops are indicated by the dashed boxes, while incorrectly sorted drops are indicated by the solid ovals. All observed sorting errors occur due to the drops in the gray region; these are drops with intermediate intensity, the product of light and dark drops merging. (c) Intensity histograms for drops detected in the waste and collection channels.
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