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Jean-Christophe Baret

Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires
Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg

Recent developments in the field of droplet microfluidics (the so-called ’digital microfluidics’) enable the control of single drops in a monodisperse w/o emulsion by the integration of individual modules such as drop maker, drop fuser, incubators, fluorescence detection and sorters. In parallel, biologists have developed methods to perform billions of reactions in parallel in emulsion droplets, a technique called ’in vitro compartmentalization’. By combining these two techniques, we can encapsulate purified proteins, single genes, or single cells (human cells, bacteria, yeasts) and even multicellular organisms to perform biological assays at a high throughput ( 1000 samples per second) and with small amount of material. We develop in the lab a series of microfluidics tools (microfluidic modules, surfactants...) for the directed evolution of enzymes and cells, for high-throughput screening at the single cell level of chemical compounds as potential drugs or for the control of chemical reactions.

Miniaturizing chemistry and biology in microdroplets, B.T. Kelly, J.-C. Baret, V. Taly and A.D. Griffiths Chem. Commun. 1773-1788 (2007).