This investigation demonstrates that digital microfluidic platforms are suitable for automated DNA ligation. Multiple DNA ligation steps are required to create DNA products using oligonucleotide synthesis. Unfortunately, traditional methods of oligonucleotide synthesis are unable to create highly accurate, long DNA products. This leads to a supply-side bottleneck that puts a drag on innovation in drug development, organism engineering, and agricultural improvement. Here we demonstrate ligation of two DNA products into one DNA product in digital microfluidic devices that manipulate droplets in air and in oil. Results from the gel electrophoresis imaging confirmed that ligation on digital microfluidics devices was successful in all cases. Silicone oil experiments also verified that on-chip incubation of DNA ligation is possible on these devices using an external resistive heater. This suggests that large-scale DMF automation of DNA synthesis can be used to alleviate the bottleneck created by the lack of efficient, high-volume production of long change DNA products. Such an advancement would be highly valued for a wide variety of biomedical applications.

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