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Droplet microfluidics for high throughput cell and protein encapsulation


Introduction

Droplet generation is a powerful technique for biomedical researchers to obtain high-throughput and low-cost analyses, [1]. Using microfluidic approaches, scientists have improved cell and protein encapsulation methods. Advances in these techniques bring promising results in the treatment of various diseases. This article will talk about droplet generation applied to cell and protein encapsulation. We'll also show you everything you need to get the most out of your experiments.


Droplet-based microfluidics


Droplet-based microfluidics is a method by which tiny droplets are created by introducing two immiscible fluids into a microfluidic channel. Usually, researchers control droplet size by manipulating the channel´s geometry and adjusting the continuous/dispersed phase flow rate, [2].


Microscale droplets have faster mixing and heat transfer, speeding up reaction times. These isolated chambers act like microreactors. Besides, they offer a physically and chemically isolated environment to avoid cross-contamination among cells, allowing single-cell encapsulation, culture, and analysis, [2].


The technique provides multiple advantages such as:

  • Enable whole-cell screening workflow design

  • Low reagent consumption

  • Biological compatibility

  • High sensitivity

Droplet encapsulation includes numerous techniques. The method differs depending on the type and number of samples and desired time and order of chemical reactions. Mainly, it involves diluting the sample into the droplet´s dispersed phase.


Protein encapsulation

Protein encapsulation in microspheres is a promising therapeutic strategy in various diseases treatment, [1]. Protein therapeutics are extremely sensitive to enzymatic degradation. Thus, encapsulating them in a carrier can provide protection while they are delivered to the target site in the body,