Digital microfluidics as an emerging tool for bacterial protocols

Carine R. Nemr, Alexandros A. Sklavounos, Aaron R. Wheeler, Shana O. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Bacteria are widely studied in various research areas, including synthetic biology, sequencing and diagnostic testing. Protocols involving bacteria are often multistep, cumbersome and require access to a long list of instruments to perform experiments. In order to streamline these processes, the fluid handling technique digital microfluidics (DMF) has provided a miniaturized platform to perform various steps of bacterial protocols from sample preparation to analysis. DMF devices can be paired/interfaced with instrumentation such as microscopes, plate readers, and incubators, demonstrating their versatility with existing research tools. Alternatively, DMF instruments can be integrated into all-in-one packages with on-chip magnetic separation for sample preparation, heating/cooling modules to perform assay steps and cameras for absorbance and/or fluorescence measurements. This perspective outlines the beneficial features DMF offers to bacterial protocols, highlights limitations of current work and proposes future directions for this tool’s expansion in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-15
Number of pages14
JournalSLAS Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Bacterial protocol
  • Diagnostics
  • Digital microfluidics
  • Synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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