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Fast Active Merging of Microdroplets in Microfluidic Chambers Driven by Photo-Isomerisation of Azobenzene Based Surfactants.


ABSTRACT: In this work, we report on the development of a newly synthesized photoactive reversible azobenzene derived surfactant polymer, which enables active and fast control of the merging of microdroplets in microfluidic chambers, driven by a pulsed UV laser optical stimulus and the well known cis-trans photo-isomerisation of azobenzene groups. We show for the first time that merging of microdroplets can be achieved optically based on a photo-isomerization process with a high spatio-temporal resolution. Our results show that the physical process lying behind the merging of microdroplets is not driven by a change in surface activity of the droplet stabilizing surfactant under UV illumination (as originally expected), and they suggest an original mechanism for the merging of droplets based on the well-known opto-mechanical motion of azobenzene molecules triggered by light irradiation.

SUBMITTER: Hayat Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6956313 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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