Modeling the liquid filling in capillary well microplates for analyte preconcentration
Review articleOpen access

AbstractAn attractive advantage of the capillary well microplate approach is the ability to conduct evaporative analyte preconcentration. We advance the use of hydrophobic materials for the wells which apart from reducing material loss through wetting also affords self entry into the well when the droplet size reduces below a critical value. Using Surface Evolver simulation without gravity, we find the critical diameters Dc fitting very well with theoretical results. When simulating the critical diameters DcG with gravity included, the gravitational effect could only be ignored when the liquid volumes were small (difference of 5.7% with 5 μL of liquid), but not when the liquid volumes were large (differences of more than 22% with 50 μL of liquid). From this, we developed a modifying equation from a series of simulation results made to describe the gravitational effect. This modifying equation fitted the simulation results well in our simulation range (100° ⩽ θ ⩽ 135° and 1 μL ⩽ V ⩽ 200 μL). In simulating the condition of multiple wells underneath each droplet, we found that having more holes did not alter the critical diameters significantly. Consequently, the modifying relation should also generally express the critical diameter for multiple wells under a droplet.

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