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1. WO2020109379 - MICROFLUIDIC CHIP ARCHITECTURE WITH OPTIMIZED PHASE FLOW

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[ EN ]
CLAIMS

1. A microfluidic chip (300) comprising at least one inlet microchannel (345), at least one output channel (361) and at least one droplet chamber (350), wherein the minimal distance between the output channel (361) and the inlet microchannel

(345) is at most about 50% of the largest dimension in the base plan (x/y) of the droplet chamber (350).

2. The micro fluidic chip (300) according to claim 1, wherein the at least one inlet microchannel (345) and the at least one output channel (361) are connected to the droplet chamber (350).

3. The micro fluidic chip (300) according to claim 1, wherein the at least one inlet microchannel (345) is connected to the droplet chamber (350) and the at least one output channel (361) is connected to the at least one inlet microchannel (345).

4. The microfluidic chip (300 according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the output channel (361) comprises at least one capillary trap (3611) and one outlet (3612).

5. The microfluidic chip (300) according to claim 4, wherein the at least one capillary trap (3611) has a width (in the y-axis) and/or a height (in the z-axis) ranging from about 1 mm to about 5 mm.

6. The microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the output channel (361) is directly coupled to the droplet chamber (350).

7. The microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the output channel (361) is directly coupled to the inlet channel (345).

8. The microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 4 to 7, wherein the at least one outlet (3612) is a dead-end, preferably the at least one outlet (3612) is an air tank (360).

9. The microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the at least one inlet microchannel (345) comprises a droplet generator (340).

10. The microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 9, further comprising a continuous phase (312), preferably wherein the continuous phase (312) fills partially or completely the micro fluidic network of the micro fluidic chip (300), more preferably wherein the microfluidic network of the microfluidic chip (300) comprises at least the droplet generator (340) and the droplet chamber (350).

11. The microfluidic chip according to claim 10, wherein the continuous phase (312) does not fill the at least one outlet (3612), preferably the continuous phase (312) does not fill the air tank (360).

12. A system for flowing a continuous phase (312) in a micro fluidic chip comprising at least one inlet microchannel (345), a droplet chamber (350) and at least one output channel (361) without disrupting the integrity of a population of droplets (314) in said droplet chamber (350), the system comprising the micro fluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the system is configured to flow the continuous phase (312) from the at least one inlet microchannel (345) to the at least one output channel (361) or vice-versa without disrupting the integrity of the population of droplets (314).

13. A method of flowing a continuous phase (312) in a micro fluidic chip comprising at least one inlet microchannel (345), a droplet chamber (350) and at least one output channel (361) without disrupting the integrity of a population of droplets (314), the method comprising:

providing the micro fluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 11, flowing the population of droplets (314) from the at least one inlet microchannel (345) to the droplet chamber (350),

flowing the continuous phase (312) from the droplet chamber (350) to the at least one output channel (361),

thereby maintaining the integrity of the population of droplets (314) stored in the droplet chamber (350).

14. A system for homogenizing a locally static continuous phase (312) throughout droplet (314) loading or generation in a micro fluidic chip comprising at least one inlet microchannel (345), a droplet chamber (350) and at least one output channel (361), the system comprising the microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the system is configured to homogenize the continuous phase (312) throughout droplet (314) loading or generation.

15. A method of homogenizing a locally static continuous phase (312) throughout droplet (314) loading or generation in a microfluidic chip comprising at least one inlet microchannel (345), a droplet chamber (350) and at least one output channel (361), the method comprising:

providing the microfluidic chip (300) according to any one of claims 1 to 11, - flowing the population of droplets (314) from the at least one inlet microchannel

(345) to the droplet chamber (350),

flowing the continuous phase (312) from the droplet chamber (350) to the at least one output channel (361),

thereby homogenizing the continuous phase (312) during droplet (314) loading or generation.

16. The system according to claim 14 or the method according to claim 15, wherein the locally static continuous phase (312) comprises a surfactant.

17. The system according to claim 12 or 14, further comprising an instrument (200) equipped with a receiving area (210), preferably wherein the instrument (200) is configured to apply pressure to the microfluidic chip (300), thereby flowing the population of droplets (314) from the at least one inlet microchannel (345) to the droplet chamber (350).