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High diversity droplet microfluidic libraries generated with a commercial liquid spotter.


Droplet libraries consisting of many reagents encapsulated in separate droplets are necessary for applications of microfluidics, including combinatorial chemical synthesis, DNA-encoded libraries, and massively multiplexed PCR. However, existing approaches for generating them are laborious and impractical. Here, we describe an automated approach using a commercial array spotter. The approach can controllably emulsify hundreds of different reagents in a fraction of the time of manual operation of a microfluidic device, and without any user intervention. We demonstrate that the droplets produced by the spotter are similarly uniform to those produced by microfluidics and automate the generation of a ~ 2 mL emulsion containing 192 different reagents in ~ 4 h. The ease with which it can generate high diversity droplet libraries should make combinatorial applications more feasible in droplet microfluidics. Moreover, the instrument serves as an automated droplet generator, allowing execution of droplet reactions without microfluidic expertise.

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