Portable device for gravity-driven splitting of droplets into monodisperse droplet emulsion, method of passive droplet splitting implemented in this device and its use

This invention is a device, and also a method of high-throughput generation of monodisperse droplets without additional dedicated syringe pumps, and also the application of the said device to assess minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of antibiotics and to count microorganisms. The invention uses gravity as the pressure source that pushes the sample through a module for passive emulsification. The invention allows for emulsification of more than one sample at the same time.


Yu-Ting Kao, Piotr Garstecki, Tomasz Kamiński, Witold Postek, Jan Guzowski

Advantages / Innovative aspects

  • The invention allows for emulsification of a series of samples without the use of syringe pumps or other dedicated pressure sources
  • The invention is easy to use, which allows an unqualified person to operate the invention after a short training
  • The invention allows for high-throughput analysis of antibiotic resistance and for counting of bacteria


The invention finds applications in microfluidic analytical techniques, in counting bacteria (colony forming units, CFU), and in asssays that screen susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics (antibiotic susceptibility tests, AST). The invention also allows for running biochemical digital assays in droplets, for example polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or in isothermal amplification of nucleic acids.

State of the progress
stage of research

Intellectual property rights
Patent application in Poland

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 711859.