Devices for mixing of significantly different fluids: Applications in protein crystallization.
A microfluidic device for preparing a mixture, has a mixer. The mixer includes a plurality of chambers, each chamber having a volume of at most 1 microliter, a first plurality of channels, each channel fluidly connecting 2 chambers, a plurality of chamber valves, each chamber valve controlling fluid flow out of one of the plurality of chambers, and a first plurality of channel valves, each channel valve controlling fluid flow through one of the first plurality of channels.
This device enables the metering and mixing of two fluids of significantly different viscosities and potentially non-Newtonian fluid behavior. Mixing is performed using large pneumatically acuated valves to drive fluid flow in a sequence that prevents fluid stagnation and facilitates mixing. The device can be used, for example, in the preparation of aqueous/lipid mesophases for in-meso membrane protein crystallization.