Electrohydrodynamic Micro-droplet Generation on Both Conducting and Non-conducting Surfaces by Electric Induction

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There is a rapid growing need of the drop-based delivery of small quantities of bio-functional materials, such as cells. We report a brand-new printing method to generate a single droplet in the range of pL to L with a single size capillary nozzle by electric induction phenomenon. Using the method, a droplet is generated electrohydrodynamically from the capillary nozzle and the induced charges at the target substrate surface. Differently from the common EHD methods, the present method doesn’t need a counter electrode, and can generate a tiny small droplet (as small as 2.6 pL) on any type of target substrates, such as a conductor or an insulator, and a solid or even liquid. Furthermore, in our method, the electric stress acting on the interface of droplet and target surface is 22 times less than in the common EHD methods. It is also proven possible to generate a single droplet containing live cells by controlling the drop size with no influence of high electric voltage on the cells. Cell viability is confirmed through the cell culture after the live cell dispensing on a cell chip. This new dispensing method may find applications such as generation of biological microarrays for high-throughput screening.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2009: Biofuels, Renewable Energy, Coatings, Fluidics and Compact Modeling
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 489 - 493
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: Micro & Bio Fluidics, Lab-on-Chip
ISBN: 978-1-4398-1784-1