Screening Platforms Based on Droplet Microfluidics and Towards Artificial Cells and Networks - NCCR MSE

Screening Platforms Based on Droplet Microfluidics and Towards Artificial Cells and Networks

The focus of our research is the development of microfluidic methods for applications in the life sciences.

In this project, we pursue three aims: i) The creation of small biochemical reactors (“artificial cells”) and ii) networks in the sense of molecular factories, and iii) the development of high-throughput, label-free screening methods with improved analytical readout. In all approaches, we use droplet microfluidics as the basic technology for the creation of controlled nL-volumes. Our system can be employed for a wide range of applications and adapted to many assays, which are developed by other groups in the NCCR.


J. Vallapurackal, A. Stucki, A. D. Liang, J. Klehr, P. DittrichT. R. Ward “Ultrahigh-Throughput Screening of an Artificial Metalloenzyme using Double Emulsions“ Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022. [DOI]
T. A. Duncombe, A. Ponti, P. Dittrich “SpectraSorter: Ocean Insight spectrometer software application for high-throughput full-spectrum UV–VIS analysis and triggered sorting“ SoftwareX 2022. [DOI]
P. Dittrich, N. Nuti, P. Rottmann, A. Stucki, P. Koch, S. Panke “A Multiplexed Cell-Free Assay to Screen for Antimicrobial Peptides in Double Emulsion Droplets“ Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022. [DOI]
T. A. Duncombe, A. Ponti, F. SeebeckP. Dittrich “UV–Vis Spectra-Activated Droplet Sorting for Label-Free Chemical Identification and Collection of Droplets“ Anal. Chem. 2021. [DOI]
A. Stucki, P. Jusková, N. Nuti, S. Schmitt, P. Dittrich “Synchronized Reagent Delivery in Double Emulsions for Triggering Chemical Reactions and Gene Expression“ Small Methods 2021. [DOI]
S. Bachler, M. Ort, S. D. Krämer, P. Dittrich “Permeation Studies across Symmetric and Asymmetric Membranes in Microdroplet Arrays“ Anal. Chem. 2021. [DOI]
A. Stucki, J. Vallapurackal, T. R. WardP. Dittrich “Droplet Microfluidics and Directed Evolution of Enzymes: an Intertwined Journey“ Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021. [DOI]
S. Bachler, D. Haidas, M. Ort, T. A. Duncombe, P. Dittrich “Microfluidic platform enables tailored translocation and reaction cascades in nanoliter droplet networks“ Commun. Biol. 2020. [DOI]
S. F. Berlanda, M. Breitfeld, C. L. Dietsche, P. Dittrich “Recent Advances in Microfluidic Technology for Bioanalysis and Diagnostics“ Anal. Chem. 2020. [DOI]
Y. R. F. Schmid, L. Scheller, S. Buchmann, P. Dittrich “Calcium-Mediated Liposome Fusion to Engineer Giant Lipid Vesicles with Cytosolic Proteins and Reconstituted Mammalian Proteins“ Adv. Biosys. 2020. [DOI]
M. A. S. Espinosa, P. Dittrich “In-Droplet Electrophoretic Separation and Enrichment of Biomolecules“ Anal. Chem. 2020. [DOI]
D. Haidas, M. Napiorkowska, S. Schmitt, P. Dittrich “Parallel Sampling of Nanoliter Droplet Arrays for Noninvasive Protein Analysis in Discrete Yeast Cultivations by MALDI-MS“ Anal. Chem. 2020. [DOI]
P. Jusková, Y. R. F. Schmid, A. Stucki, S. Schmitt, M. Held, P. Dittrich ““Basicles”: Microbial Growth and Production Monitoring in Giant Lipid Vesicles“ ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019. [DOI]
T. A. Duncombe, P. Dittrich “Droplet Barcoding: Tracking Mobile Micro-Reactors for High-Throughput Biology“ Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 2019, 60. [DOI]
D. Huemmer, S. Bachler, M. Köhler, L. M. Blank, R. Zenobi, P. Dittrich “Microfluidic platform for multimodal analysis of enzyme secretion in nanoliter droplet arrays“ Anal. Chem. 2018. [DOI]
M. Grogg, D. Hilvert, M. Ebert, A. K. Beck, D. Seebach, F. Kurth, P. DittrichC. Sparr, S. Wittlin, M. Rottmann, P. Mäser “Cell Penetration, Herbicidal Activity, and in-vivo-Toxicity of Oligo-Arginine Derivatives and of Novel Guanidinium-Rich Compounds Derived from the Biopolymer Cyanophycin“ Helv. Chim. Acta 2018. [DOI]
F. Kurth, P. Dittrich, P. Walde, D. Seebach “Influence of the Membrane Dye R18 and of DMSO on Cell Penetration of Guanidinium-Rich Peptides“ Chem. Biodiversity 2018. [DOI]

Project Leader

Petra Dittrich


Dittrich group @D-BSSE