Active droplet sorting in microfluidics: a review

Heng Dong Xi, Hao Zheng, Wei Guo, Alfonso M. Gañán-Calvo, Ye Ai, Chia Wen Tsao, Jun Zhou, Weihua Li, Yanyi Huang, Nam Trung Nguyen, Say Hwa Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


The ability to manipulate and sort droplets is a fundamental issue in droplet-based microfluidics. Various lab-on-a-chip applications can only be realized if droplets are systematically categorized and sorted. These micron-sized droplets act as ideal reactors which compartmentalize different biological and chemical reagents. Array processing of these droplets hinges on the competence of the sorting and integration into the fluidic system. Recent technological advances only allow droplets to be actively sorted at the rate of kilohertz or less. In this review, we present state-of-the-art technologies which are implemented to efficiently sort droplets. We classify the concepts according to the type of energy implemented into the system. We also discuss various key issues and provide insights into various systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-771
Number of pages21
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number5
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2017


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