CHAPTER 8: Droplet Microfluidics: Applications in Synthetic Biology
Published:20 Nov 2020
Special Collection: 2020 ebook collectionSeries: Soft Matter Series
S. R. Little, J. M. Perry, K. Samlali, and S. C. C. Shih, in Droplet Microfluidics, ed. C. Ren and A. Lee, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020, pp. 193-222.
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Synthetic biology is rapidly growing to meet the demand for inexpensive and sustainable resources. So far, the field has developed microbial strains producing biofuels, materials, drugs, as well as new tools for clinical diagnostics and gene therapy. Although rich in potential, synthetic biology still requires development – particularly in the area of automation. The price and footprint of commercially available automation equipment is restrictive to research and these tools are often not tailored to complete the entire workflow of a given project. In response to this, droplet microfluidic platforms are being developed to expedite synthetic biology. In particular, droplet microfluidic devices have been developed to assemble and transform DNA, perform high-throughput screening assays and perform directed evolution. By consolidating these capabilities and pairing them with design automation and analysis tools, droplet microfluidics will launch a new generation of synthetic biology.