Printed droplet microfluidics for on demand dispensing of picoliter droplets and cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • R.H. Cole
  • C.A. Siltanen
  • P. Shahi
  • J.Q. Zhang
  • S. Poust
  • Z.J. Gartner
  • A.R. Abate

Colleges, School and Institutes


Although the elementary unit of biology is the cell, high-throughput methods for the microscale manipulation of cells and reagents are limited. The existing options either are slow, lack single-cell specificity, or use fluid volumes out of scale with those of cells. Here we present printed droplet microfluidics, a technology to dispense picoliter droplets and cells with deterministic control. The core technology is a fluorescence-activated droplet sorter coupled to a specialized substrate that together act as a picoliter droplet and single-cell printer, enabling high-throughput generation of intricate arrays of droplets, cells, and microparticles. Printed droplet microfluidics provides a programmable and robust technology to construct arrays of defined cell and reagent combinations and to integrate multiple measurement modalities together in a single assay.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8728-8733
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number33
Early online date31 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017


  • single-cell analysis, droplet microfluidics, fluorescence-activated droplet sorting, cell printing, droplet array