Towards Enzyme-catalyzed Nonlinear Dynamics in Microfluidic Reactors

Alex Scheeline, Christopher Field, and Zakiah Pierre, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Complex temporal or spatio-temporal oscillatory dynamics are known to occur in neutrophils. Mechanisms have been proposed, but to match observed patterns rate constants must be hypothesized that are orders of magnitude slower than measured in vitro. Complicating matters is the need to work with minute amounts of enzymes and the tendency of proteins to stick to e.g. quartz, polydimethylsiloxane, and other materials commonly employed in microfluidic systems. We describe our ultrasonically-levitated drop microreactor and demonstrate its initial use for measuring reaction rates. We show how further development will allow assembly of an in stilla phagosome in which such complications as biofilms and surface-catalyzed reactions do not interfere with characterization of reaction dynamics.