Fundamental and applied research in chemistry and biology benefits from opportunities provided by droplet-based microfluidic systems. These systems enable the miniaturization of reactions by compartmentalizing reactions in droplets of femoliter to microliter volumes. Compartmentalization in droplets provides rapid mixing of reagents, control of the timing of reactions on timescales from milliseconds to months, control of interfacial properties, and the ability to synthesize and transport solid reagents and products. Droplet-based microfluidics can help to enhance and accelerate chemical and biochemical screening, protein crystallization, enzymatic kinetics, and assays. Moreover, the control provided by droplets in microfluidic devices can lead to new scientific methods and insights.
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