Droplet on Soft Shuttle: Electrowetting-on-Dielectric Actuation of Small Droplets
Ruvalcaba-Cardenas, Ana Daysi | Thurgood, Peter | Chen, Sheng | Khoshmanesh, Khashayar | Tovar-Lopez, Francisco J.
Here, we introduce the novel concept of a “soft shuttle” for transportation, manipulation, and diffusion studies of small liquid droplets using electrowetting on the dielectric mechanism. This method enables manipulation of droplets several times smaller than the electrode size and, importantly, minimizes evaporation, contamination, and exposure of the sample to high voltages. We demonstrate various modes of droplet loading, transporting, and unloading. Using advanced imaging processing techniques, we obtained detailed information about the shuttle and droplet centroids. Furthermore, varying water concentration on the soft shuttle allows for modulation of the diffusion kinetics of samples into the shuttle, which also can be controlled with soft shuttle actuation velocity. We believe that this novel approach for the manipulation of droplets will advance the field of droplet-based open microfluidics and can be potentially useful for applications in biotechnology, diagnostics, or analytical chemistry.Show more [+] Less [-]