Droplets can be used to individually encapsulate elements (cells, proteins, molecules, etc.) in microfluidic chip and then test their response to certain environment.
For that purpose, scientists developed microfluidic tools based on two different features:
– Electrical field : to slightly destabilize interfaces either to introduce new compound once the droplets is formed or move the droplets into the right path (eg. to sort active cells from inactive ones, like shown on the picture above).
– Fluorescence: probes are designed to emit very intense light when a certain event is occurring in the droplets. This what allows scientist to detect response from the elements they encapsulated.
In all this cases, the key properties for the surfactant are :
– maintain droplets integrity even under electric field while allowing introduction of new compound or manipulation
– keep fluorescent dye inside the droplet to have an accurate measure (avoid leakage)
FluoSurf was designed to fulfil these criteria. As shown on the image, the droplets can be deformed and keep their integrity.
And we developed our product to reduce significantly the leakage which is one of the major issue that many researcher are facing.