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Uniform Amplification of Phage with Different Growth Characteristics in Individual Compartments Consisting of Monodisperse Droplets


  • We thank Dr. Lingyin Li (University of Wisconsin-Madison) for a sample of wild-type phage and Dr. Claudiu Stan for critical evaluation of the statistical models of distribution of phage in droplets. We thank Dr. Brian Hutchinson and Darren Link (RainDance Technologies) for samples of fluoro surfactants and destabilizers. This work was supported by NIH ES016665, MRSEC DMR-0820484, and the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering. S.K.Y.T. acknowledges DARPA award W911NF-07-1-0647 for salary support.


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Save every clone! In phage display, clones displaying ligands that hinder growth of phage are lost in amplification. Competition of slowly (S) and rapidly (R) growing phage is mitigated in monodisperse emulsions generated by a simple microfluidic device. Separating R and S in ca. 107 droplets maintains R/S ratio throughout amplification. Competition-free amplification of phage preserves ligands that are usually lost in phage display screen.