Researchers develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move.
Researchers at MIT and in Saudi Arabia have developed a new way of making surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move across them. The work might enable new kinds of biomedical or microfluidic devices, or solar panels that could automatically clean themselves of dust and grit.
“Most surfaces are passive,” says Kripa Varanasi, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and senior author of a paper describing the new system in the journalApplied Physics Letters. “They rely on gravity, or other forces, to move fluids or particles.”
Watch a water droplet get pulled across an “active” surface designed by MIT researchers.
Video: Melanie Gonick/MIT
Varanasi’s team decided to use external fields, such as magnetic fields, to make surfaces active, exerting precise control over the behavior of particles or droplets moving over them.
The system makes use of a microtextured surface, with bumps or ridges just a few micrometers across, that is then impregnated with a fluid that can be manipulated — for example, an oil infused with tiny magnetic particles, or ferrofluid, which can be pushed and pulled by applying a magnetic field to the surface. When droplets of water or tiny particles are placed on the surface, a thin coating of the fluid covers them, forming a magnetic cloak.
The thin magnetized cloak can then actually pull the droplet or particle along as the layer itself is drawn magnetically across the surface. Tiny ferromagnetic particles, approximately 10 nanometers in diameter, in the ferrofluid could allow precision control when it’s needed — such as in a microfluidic device used to test biological or chemical samples by mixing them with a variety of reagents. Unlike the fixed channels of conventional microfluidics, such surfaces could have “virtual” channels that could be reconfigured at will.
While other researchers have developed systems that use magnetism to move particles or fluids, these require the material being moved to be magnetic, and very strong magnetic fields to move them around. The new system, which produces a superslippery surface that lets fluids and particles slide around with virtually no friction, needs much less force to move these materials. “This allows us to attain high velocities with small applied forces,” says MIT graduate student Karim Khalil, the paper’s lead author.
The new approach, he says, could be useful for a range of applications: For example, solar panels and the mirrors used in solar-concentrating systems can quickly lose a significant percentage of their efficiency when dust, moisture, or other materials accumulate on their surfaces. But if coated with such an active surface material, a brief magnetic pulse could be used to sweep the material away.
The Latest on: Droplet-based microfluidic platforms
via Google News
The Latest on: Droplet-based microfluidic platforms
- Velabs Therapeutics Raises €3M in Series B Financingon June 27, 2019 at 8:17 am
Velabs has developed droplet-based microfluidic screening technology designed to rapidly generate antibodies against target molecules presented on cellular membrane surfaces or as a soluble protein.
- Microfluidics Market Value: US$ 12.9 Billion by 2026on June 17, 2019 at 9:19 pm
In November 2017, for example, Dolomite launched the Nadia single cell platform for single cell research, the new droplet-based microfluidics ... to create and market microfluidic diagnostic ...
- Nadia Instrument from Dolomite Bioon October 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm
Nadia is an automated, microfluidic droplet-based platform for single cell research that encapsulates up to 8 samples, in parallel, in under 20 mins. Over 50,000 single cells can be captured per ...
- Single-Cell Platformon February 14, 2018 at 11:33 am
The Nadia instrument is a touchscreen-controlled, droplet-based microfluidic platform for single-cell research, combining superior microfluidics, automated temperature control, and gentle cell ...
- Mission Bio Receives Investment from Life Science Angelson February 6, 2017 at 5:05 am
Mission Bio is developing a microfluidic, droplet-based platform to enable critical advances in diseases like cancer, where elucidating heterogeneity in cell populations is essential. The company spun ...
- Development of a facile droplet-based single-cell isolation platform for cultivation and genomic analysis in microorganismson January 23, 2017 at 11:43 am
Herein, a facile droplet microfluidic platform was developed to dispense individual microbial cells into conventional standard containers for downstream analysis. Functional parts for cell ...
- High-throughput screening of filamentous fungi using nanoliter-range droplet-based microfluidicson June 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm
The platform allowed (i ... screening of filamentous fungi based on secreted enzyme activities. Using droplet-based microfluidic tools adapted to manipulate nanoliter-volume droplets, the ...
- Droplet Thermotaxis: A New Platform Technology for Droplet-based Microfluidic Systemson April 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge ...
- 'Active' surfaces control what's on them: Scientists develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles moveon July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm
The work might enable new kinds of biomedical or microfluidic devices ... surfaces control what's on them: Scientists develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles ...
- STTR Phase I: Development of a Computational Tool for Modeling, Simulation, and Design of Next Generation Discrete Droplet Microfluidic Systemson June 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project proposes to develop a simulation and design software for droplet-based microfluidic devices. Designing microfluidic platforms for ...
via Bing News