(a) Schematic of a complete microfluidic platform for the isolation and encapsulation of microbes from mixed populations into alginate microbeads. Insets show the SEM image of a SU-8 mold of a two fluid phase junction, calcium stream introduction, and a two-layer aggregation of alginate beads in storage channel (from left to right). Scale bar: 60 μm. (b) Schematic showing the process of droplet formation at the two-phase junction site.
Droplet generation phase space plotted as a function of aqueous and organic carrier phase backing pressures for 3D (Regions I, II, III) and 2D devices (Droplet 2D).
Droplet generation frequency (upper) and droplet size (lower) are shown as a function of aqueous phase backing pressure for three different organic phase backing pressures.
Histograms showing the size distribution of droplets generated at three different combinations of operating pressures. Scale bar: 60 μm.
Alginate microbeads imaged following collection from a “gelation” channel of different lengths. Droplet stability was examined as a function of channel length and approximate gelation time. Completion of gelation is illustrated by intact boundaries of micro-beads in collection channel. Scale bar: 60 μm.
A Poisson distribution fitted to a histogram representing the number beads found with different numbers of cells per bead. The mean is 0.68. About 83% of the beads contain either one or no cell. Scale bar: 15 μm.
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