The wetting properties of superhydrophobic surfaces have generated worldwide research interest. A water drop on these surfaces forms a nearly perfect spherical pearl. Superhydrophobic materials hold considerable promise for potential applications ranging from self cleaning surfaces, completely water impermeable textiles to low cost energy displacement of liquids in lab-on-chip devices. However, the dynamic modification of the liquid droplets behavior and in particular of their wetting properties on these surfaces is still a challenging issue. In this review, after a brief overview on superhydrophobic states definition, the techniques leading to the modification of wettability behavior on superhydrophobic surfaces under specific conditions: optical, magnetic, mechanical, chemical, thermal are discussed. Finally, a focus on electrowetting is made from historical phenomenon pointed out some decades ago on classical planar hydrophobic surfaces to recent breakthrough obtained on superhydrophobic surfaces.
Microfluidic; Superhydrophobic surfaces; Wettability switching; Electrowetting
The emerging field of biomimetics allows one to mimic biology or nature to develop nanomaterials, nanodevices, and processes which provide desirable properties. Hierarchical structures with dimensions of features ranging from the macroscale to the nanoscale are extremely common in nature and possess properties of interest. There are a large number of objects including bacteria, plants, land and aquatic animals, and seashells with properties of commercial interest. Certain plant leaves, such as lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaves, are known to be superhydrophobic and self-cleaning due to the hierarchical surface roughness and presence of a wax layer. In addition to a self-cleaning effect, these surfaces with a high contact angle and low contact angle hysteresis also exhibit low adhesion and drag reduction for fluid flow. An aquatic animal, such as a shark, is another model from nature for the reduction of drag in fluid flow. The artificial surfaces inspired from the shark skin and lotus leaf have been created, and in this article the influence of structure on drag reduction efficiency is reviewed. Biomimetic-inspired oleophobic surfaces can be used to prevent contamination of the underwater parts of ships by biological and organic contaminants, including oil. The article also reviews the wetting behavior of oil droplets on various superoleophobic surfaces created in the lab.
aquatic animals; biomimetics; drag; lotus plants; shark skin; superhydrophobicity; superoleophobicity
Structurally modified superhydrophobic surfaces have become particularly desirable as stable antibacterial surfaces. Because their self-cleaning and water resistant properties prohibit bacteria growth, structurally modified superhydrophobic surfaces obviate bacterial resistance common with chemical agents, and therefore a robust and stable means to prevent bacteria growth is possible. In this study, we present a rapid fabrication method for creating such superhydrophobic surfaces in consumer hard plastic materials with resulting antibacterial effects. To replace complex fabrication materials and techniques, the initial mold is made with commodity shrink-wrap film and is compatible with large plastic roll-to-roll manufacturing and scale-up techniques. This method involves a purely structural modification free of chemical additives leading to its inherent consistency over time and successive recasting from the same molds. Finally, antibacterial properties are demonstrated in polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), and polyethylene (PE) by demonstrating the prevention of gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria growth on our structured plastic surfaces.
Lotus leaves have become an icon for superhydrophobicity and self-cleaning surfaces, and have led to the concept of the ‘Lotus effect’. Although many other plants have superhydrophobic surfaces with almost similar contact angles, the lotus shows better stability and perfection of its water repellency. Here, we compare the relevant properties such as the micro- and nano-structure, the chemical composition of the waxes and the mechanical properties of lotus with its competitors. It soon becomes obvious that the upper epidermis of the lotus leaf has developed some unrivaled optimizations. The extraordinary shape and the density of the papillae are the basis for the extremely reduced contact area between surface and water drops. The exceptional dense layer of very small epicuticular wax tubules is a result of their unique chemical composition. The mechanical robustness of the papillae and the wax tubules reduce damage and are the basis for the perfection and durability of the water repellency. A reason for the optimization, particularly of the upper side of the lotus leaf, can be deduced from the fact that the stomata are located in the upper epidermis. Here, the impact of rain and contamination is higher than on the lower epidermis. The lotus plant has successfully developed an excellent protection for this delicate epistomatic surface of its leaves.
epicuticular wax; leaf surface; Lotus effect; papillae; water repellency
We present a facile and inexpensive approach to superhydrophobic polymer coatings. The method involves the in-situ polymerization of common monomers in the presence of a porogenic solvent to afford superhydrophobic surfaces with the desired combination of micro- and nano-scale roughness. The method is applicable to a variety of substrates and is not limited to small areas or flat surfaces. The polymerized material can be ground into a superhydrophobic powder, which, once applied to a surface, renders it superhydrophobic. The morphology of the porous polymer structure can be efficiently controlled by composition of the polymerization mixture, while surface chemistry can be adjusted by photografting. Morphology control is used to reduce the globule size of the porous architecture from micro down to nanoscale thereby affording a transparent material. The influence of both surface chemistry as well as the length scale of surface roughness on the superhydrophobicity is discussed.
Porous Polymer; Superhydrophobic; Superhydrophilic; Transparency; Photografting; Surface Modification; Superhydrophobicity; Superhydrophobic surface; Polymer monolith; Porous polymer coating
After comprehensive study of various superhydrophobic phenomena in nature, it is no longer a puzzle for researchers to realize such fetching surfaces. However, the different types of artificial surfaces may get wetted and lose its water repellence if there exist defects or the liquid is under pressure. With respect to the industry applications, in which the resistance of wetting transition is critical important, new nanostructure satisfied a certain geometric criterion should be designed to hold a stable gas film at the base area to avoid the wet transition.
A thermal deposition method was utilized to produce a thin ZnO seeds membrane on the aluminum foil. And then a chemical self-assemble technology was developed in present work to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical dune-like ZnO architecture based on the prepared seeds membrane.
Hierarchical ZnO with micro scale dune-like structure and core-sharing nanosheets was generated. The characterization results showed that there exist plenty of gaps and interfaces among the micro-dune and nanosheets, and thus the surface area was enlarged by such a unique morphology. Benefited from this unique 3D ZnO hierarchical nanostructure, the obtained surface exhibited stable water repellency after modification with Teflon, and furthermore, based on solid theory analysis, such 3D ZnO nanostructure would exhibit excellent sensing performance.
Hierarchically structured flower leaves (petals) of many plants are superhydrophobic, but water droplets do not roll-off when the surfaces are tilted. On such surfaces water droplets are in the “Cassie impregnating wetting state”, which is also known as the “petal effect”. By analyzing the petal surfaces of different species, we discovered interesting new wetting characteristics of the surface of the flower of the wild pansy (Viola tricolor). This surface is superhydrophobic with a static contact angle of 169° and very low hysteresis, i.e., the petal effect does not exist and water droplets roll-off as from a lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf. However, the surface of the wild pansy petal does not possess the wax crystals of the lotus leaf. Its petals exhibit high cone-shaped cells (average size 40 µm) with a high aspect ratio (2.1) and a very fine cuticular folding (width 260 nm) on top. The applied water droplets are in the Cassie–Baxter wetting state and roll-off at inclination angles below 5°. Fabricated hydrophobic polymer replicas of the wild pansy were prepared in an easy two-step moulding process and possess the same wetting characteristics as the original flowers. In this work we present a technical surface with a new superhydrophobic, low adhesive surface design, which combines the hierarchical structuring of petals with a wetting behavior similar to that of the lotus leaf.
anti-adhesive; petal effect; petal structures; polymer replication; superhydrophobic
Hydrophobicity is a very important surface property and there is a growing interest in the production and characterization of superhydrophobic surfaces. Accordingly, it was recently shown how to obtain a superhydrophobic surface using a simple and cost-effective method on a polymer named poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA). To evaluate the ability of such material as a substrate for bacterial colonization, this work assessed the capability of different bacteria to colonize a biomimetic rough superhydrophobic (SH) PLLA surface and also a smooth hydrophobic (H) one. The interaction between these surfaces and bacteria with different morphologies and cell walls was studied using one strain of Staphylococcus aureus and one of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Results showed that both bacterial strains colonized the surfaces tested, although significantly higher numbers of S. aureus cells were found on SH surfaces comparing to H ones. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy images showed an extracellular matrix produced by P. aeruginosa on SH PLLA surfaces, indicating that this bacterium is able to form a biofilm on such substratum. Bacterial removal through lotus leaf effect was also tested, being more efficient on H coupons than on SH PLLA ones. Overall, the results showed that SH PLLA surfaces can be used as a substrate for bacterial colonization and, thus, have an exceptional potential for biotechnology applications.
Poly(L-lactic acid); Superhydrophobicity; Biomimetic surfaces; Bacterial colonization substrate
Porous carbon materials with high specific surface areas and superhydrophobicity have attracted much research interest due to their potential application in the areas of water filtration, water/oil separation, and oil-spill cleanup. Most reported superhydrophobic porous carbon materials are fabricated by complex processes involving the use of catalysts and high temperatures but with low throughput. Here, we present a facile single-step method for fabricating porous carbon nanoparticle (CNP) networks with selective absorbability for water and oils via the glow discharge of hydrocarbon plasma without a catalyst at room temperature. Porous CNP networks were grown by the continuous deposition of CNPs at a relatively high deposition pressure. By varying the fluorine content, the porous CNP networks exhibited tunable repellence against liquids with various degrees of surface tension. These porous CNP networks could be applied for the separation of not only water/oil mixtures but also mixtures of liquids with different surface tension levels.
A water drop on a superhydrophobic surface that is pinned by wire loops can be reproducibly cut without formation of satellite droplets. Drops placed on low-density polyethylene surfaces and Teflon-coated glass slides were cut with superhydrophobic knives of low-density polyethylene and treated copper or zinc sheets, respectively. Distortion of drop shape by the superhydrophobic knife enables a clean break. The driving force for droplet formation arises from the lower surface free energy for two separate drops, and it is modeled as a 2-D system. An estimate of the free energy change serves to guide when droplets will form based on the variation of drop volume, loop spacing and knife depth. Combining the cutting process with an electrofocusing driving force could enable a reproducible biomolecular separation without troubling satellite drop formation.
Fabrication of superhydrophobic surfaces has attracted much interest in the past decade. The fabrication methods that have been studied are chemical vapour deposition, the sol-gel method, etching technique, electrochemical deposition, the layer-by-layer deposition, and so on. Simple and inexpensive methods for manufacturing environmentally stable superhydrophobic surfaces have also been proposed lately. However, work referring to the influence of special structures on the wettability, such as hierarchical ZnO nanostructures, is rare.
This study presents a simple and reproducible method to fabricate a superhydrophobic surface with micro-scale roughness based on zinc oxide (ZnO) hierarchical structure, which is grown by the hydrothermal method with an alkaline aqueous solution. Coral-like structures of ZnO were fabricated on a glass substrate with a micro-scale roughness, while the antennas of the coral formed the nano-scale roughness. The fresh ZnO films exhibited excellent superhydrophilicity (the apparent contact angle for water droplet was about 0°), while the ability to be wet could be changed to superhydrophobicity after spin-coating Teflon (the apparent contact angle greater than 168°). The procedure reported here can be applied to substrates consisting of other materials and having various shapes.
The new process is convenient and environmentally friendly compared to conventional methods. Furthermore, the hierarchical structure generates the extraordinary solid/gas/liquid three-phase contact interface, which is the essential characteristic for a superhydrophobic surface.
We report an approach to the fabrication of superhydrophobic thin films that is based on the ‘reactive’ layer-by-layer assembly of azlactone-containing polymer multilayers. We demonstrate that films fabricated from alternating layers of the azlactone functionalized polymer poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone) (PVDMA) and poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) exhibit micro- and nanoscale surface features that result in water contact angles in excess of 150º. Our results reveal that the formation of these surface features is (i) dependent upon film thickness (i.e., the number of layers of PEI and PVDMA deposited) and (ii) that it is influenced strongly by the presence (or absence) of cyclic azlactone-functionalized oligomers that can form upon storage of the 2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone (VDMA) used to synthesize PVDMA. For example, films fabricated using polymers synthesized in the presence of these oligomers exhibited rough, textured surfaces and superhydrophobic behavior (i.e., advancing contact angles in excess of 150º). In contrast, films fabricated from PVDMA polymerized in the absence of this oligomer (e.g., using freshly distilled monomer) were smooth and only moderately hydrophobic (i.e., advancing contact angles of ~75º). The addition of authentic, independently synthesized oligomer to samples of distilled VDMA at specified and controlled concentrations permitted reproducible fabrication of superhydrophobic thin films on the surfaces of a variety of different substrates. The surfaces of these films were demonstrated to be superhydrophobic immediately after fabrication, but they became hydrophilic after exposure to water for six days. Additional experiments demonstrated that it was possible to stabilize and prolong the superhydrophobic properties of these films (e.g., advancing contact angles in excess of 150° even after complete submersion in water for at least six weeks) by exploiting the reactivity of residual azlactones to functionalize the surfaces of the films using hydrophobic amines (e.g., aliphatic or semi-fluorinated aliphatic amines). Our results demonstrate a straightforward and substrate-independent approach to the design of superhydrophobic and reactive polymer-based coatings of potential use in a broad range of fundamental and applied contexts.
To characterize the effect of shearing on function of fibrillar adhesive microstructure, friction and shear-related changes in pull-off force of a biomimetic polyvinylsiloxane mushroom-shaped fibrillar adhesive microstructure were studied. In contrast to a control flat surface, which exhibited pronounced stick–slip motion accompanied with high friction, the fibrillar microstructure demonstrated a stable and smooth sliding with a friction coefficient approximately four times lower. The structured contact also manifested zero pull-off force in a sheared state, while the flat surface exhibited highly scattered and unreliable pull-off force when affected by contact shearing. It appears that the fibrillar microstructure can be used in applications where a total attachment force should be generated in a binary on/off state and, most surprisingly, is suitable to stabilize and minimize elastomer friction.
biomimetics; surface patterning; shearing; friction; adhesion
Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture prey with a pitfall trap that relies on a micro-structured, slippery surface. The upper pitcher rim (peristome) is fully wettable and causes insects to slip by aquaplaning on a thin water film. The high wettability of the peristome is probably achieved by a combination of hydrophilic surface chemistry, surface roughness and the presence of hygroscopic nectar. Insect foot attachment could be prevented by the delayed drainage of the thin water film between the adhesive pad and the surface. Drainage should be faster for insects with a hairy adhesive system; however, they slip equally on the wet peristome. Therefore the stability of the water film against dewetting appears to be the key factor for aquaplaning. New experimental techniques may help to clarify the detailed function of the pitcher plant peristome and to explore its potential for biomimetic applications.
carnivorous plants; insect aquaplaning; superhydrophilic leaves; Nepenthes; peristome
Interfacial diffusion is of great importance in determining the performance of solid-state reactions. For nanometer sized particles, some solid-state reactions can be triggered accidently by mechanical stress owing to their large surface-to-volume ratio compared with the bulk ones. Therefore, a great challenge is the control of interfacial diffusion for solid state reactions, especially for energetic materials. Here we demonstrate, through the example of nanowire-based thermite membrane, that the thermite solid-state reaction can be easily tuned via the introduction of low-surface-energy coating layer. Moreover, this silicon-coated thermite membrane exhibit controlled wetting behavior ranging from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic and, simultaneously, to significantly reduce the friction sensitivity of thermite membrane. This effect enables to increase interfacial resistance by increasing the amount of coating material. Indeed, our results described here make it possible to tune the solid-state reactions through the manipulation of interfacial diffusion between the reactants.
Undoped and boron-doped nanocrystalline (NCD) diamond films were deposited on mirror polished Ti–6Al–4V substrates in a Microwave Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition system. Sliding wear tests were conducted in ambient air with a nanotribometer. A systematic study of the tribological properties for both undoped and boron-doped NCD films were carried out. It was found for diamond/diamond sliding, coefficient of friction decreases with increasing normal loads. It was also found that the wear rate of boron-doped NCD films is about 10 times higher than that of undoped films. A wear rate of ~5.2×10−9 mm3/Nm was found for undoped NCD films. This value is comparable to the best known value of that of polished polycrystalline diamond films. Although no surface deformation, film delamination or micro-cracking were observed for undoped films, boron-doped NCD film undergoes a critical failure at a normal stress of 2.2 GPa, above which surface deformation is evident. Combined with high hardness and modulus, tunable conductivity and improved open air thermal stability, boron-doped nanocrystalline diamond film has tremendous potentials for applications such as Atomic Force Microscope probes, Micro-Electro-Mechanical System devices and biomedical sensors.
Nanocrystalline diamond; Tribology; Microwave Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor; Deposition; Boron doping
A bio-inspired approach for superhydrophobic surface modification was investigated. Hydrophilic conversion of the superhydrophobic surface was easily achieved through this method, and the superhydrophobic-hydrophilic alternating surface was generated by the method combined with soft-lithography. The resulting patterned surface showed high water adhesion property in addition to superhydrophobic property.
Superhydrophobicity; Surface modification; Bio-inspired coating; Soft-lithography; High-water adhesion
In this preliminary study, the morphology and nanostructured features formed by the epicuticular waxes of the mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa) leaf were investigated and quantified. The surface features formed by the waxes give the leaf remarkable wetting and self-cleaning properties that enhance the plant’s survival in an arid climate. This paper also provides experimental evidence of the self-assembly properties of the epicuticular waxes. Analysis of the water contact angle measurements gave a mean static contact angle of 162.00 ± 6.10 degrees, which clearly indicated that the mottlecah’s leaf surface was superhydrophobic. Detailed field emission scanning electron microscopy examination revealed that the surface was covered by bumps approximately 20 μm in diameter and regularly spaced at a distance of around 26 μm. The bumps are capped by nanotubules/pillars with an average diameter of 280 nm at the tips. Self-cleaning experiments indicated that the mottlecah’s leaf could be effectively cleaned by a fine spray of water droplets that rolled over the surface picking up contaminants. Field emission scanning electron microscopy investigation of extracted epicuticular waxes revealed that the waxes were capable of self-reassembly and formed features similar to those of the original leaf surface. Furthermore, also reported is a simple technique for surface treating one side of a planar surface to produce a superhydrophobic surface that can be used as a planar floatation platform for microdevices.
superhydrophobic; nanopillars; epicuticular waxes; self-cleaning; floatation; micro-fluidic
Analytical protocol greatly influences measurement of human-serum albumin (HSA) adsorption to commercial expanded polytetrafluororethylene (ePTFE) exhibiting superhydrophobic wetting properties. Degassing of buffer solutions and evacuation of ePTFE adsorbent to remove trapped air immediately prior to contact with protein solutions are shown to be essential. Results obtained with ePTFE as a prototypical superhydrophobic test material suggest that vacuum degassing should be applied in the measurement of protein adsorption to any surface exhibiting superhydrophobicity. Solution depletion quantified using radiometry (I-125 labeled HSA) or electrophoresis yield different measures of adsorption, with nearly four-fold higher surface concentrations of unlabeled HSA measured by the electrophoresis method. This outcome is attributed to the influence of the radiolabel on HSA hydrophilicity which decreases radiolabeled-HSA affinity for a hydrophobic adsorbent in comparison to unlabeled HSA. These results indicate that radiometry underestimates the actual amount of protein adsorbed to a particular material. Removal of radiolabeled HSA adsorbed to ePTFE by 3X serial buffer rinses also shows that the remaining “bound fraction” was about 35% lower than the amount measured by radiometric depletion. This observation implies that measurement of protein bound after surface rinsing significantly underestimates the actual amount of protein concentrated by adsorption into the surface region of a protein-contacting material.
Protein adsorption; interphase; surface; radiometry; depletion
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a three-dimensional topographic technique with a high atomic resolution to measure surface roughness. AFM is a kind of scanning probe microscope, and its near-field technique is based on the interaction between a sharp tip and the atoms of the sample surface. There are several methods and many ways to modify the tip of the AFM to investigate surface properties, including measuring friction, adhesion forces and viscoelastic properties as well as determining the Young modulus and imaging magnetic or electrostatic properties. The AFM technique can analyze any kind of samples such as polymers, adsorbed molecules, films or fibers, and powders in the air whether in a controlled atmosphere or in a liquid medium. In the past decade, the AFM has emerged as a powerful tool to obtain the nanostructural details and biomechanical properties of biological samples, including biomolecules and cells. The AFM applications, techniques, and -in particular- its ability to measure forces, are not still familiar to most clinicians. This paper reviews the literature on the main principles of the AFM modality and highlights the advantages of this technique in biology, medicine, and- especially- dentistry. This literature review was performed through E-resources, including Science Direct, PubMed, Blackwell Synergy, Embase, Elsevier, and Scholar Google for the references published between 1985 and 2010.
Atomic force microscopy; Scanning tunneling microscopy; Scanning probe microscopy; Dental; Biological
Background and Aims
The superhydrophobicity of the thallus surface in one of the most SO2-tolerant lichen species, Lecanora conizaeoides, suggests that surface hydrophobicity could be a general feature of lichen symbioses controlling their tolerance to SO2. The study described here tests this hypothesis.
Water droplets of the size of a raindrop were placed on the surface of air-dry thalli in 50 lichen species of known SO2 tolerance and contact angles were measured to quantify hydrophobicity.
The wettability of lichen thalli ranges from strongly hydrophobic to strongly hydrophilic. SO2 tolerance of the studied lichen species increased with increasing hydrophobicity of the thallus surface. Extraction of extracellular lichen secondary metabolites with acetone reduced, but did not abolish the hydrophobicity of lichen thalli.
Surface hydrophobicity is the main factor controlling SO2 tolerance in lichens. It presumably originally evolved as an adaptation to wet habitats preventing the depression of net photosynthesis due to supersaturation of the thallus with water. Hydrophilicity of lichen thalli is an adaptation to dry or humid, but not directly rain-exposed habitats. The crucial role of surface hydrophobicity in SO2 also explains why many markedly SO2-tolerant species are additionally tolerant to other (chemically unrelated) toxic substances including heavy metals.
Contact angle; hydrophilicity; hydrophobicity; lotus effect; cortex; sulphur dioxide; air pollution; water uptake; lichens
Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM) studies were carried out on cleaved calcite sections in contact with solutions supersaturated with respect to otavite (CdCO3) or calcite-otavite solid solutions (SS) as a means to examine the potential for future application of LFM as a nanometer-scale mineral surface composition mapping technique. Layer-by-layer growth of surface films took place either by step advancement or by a surface nucleation and step advancement mechanisms. Friction vs. applied load data acquired on the films and the calcite substrate were successfully fitted to the Johnson Kendall Roberts (JKR) model for single asperity contacts. Following this model, friction differences between film and substrate at low loads were dictated by differences in adhesion, whereas at higher load they reflect differences in contact shear strength. In most experiments at fixed load, the film showed higher friction than the calcite surface, but the friction-load dependence for the different surfaces revealed that at low loads (0–40 nN), a calcian otavite film has lower friction than calcite; a result that is contrary to earlier LFM reports of the same system. Multilayer films of calcian-otavite displayed increasing friction with film thickness, consistent with the expectation that the film surface composition will become increasingly Cd-rich with increasing thickness. Both load- and thickness-dependence trends support the hypothesis that the contact shear strength correlates with the hydration enthalpy of the surface ions, thereby imparting friction sensitivity in the LFM to mineral-water interface composition.
The term “icephobicity” has emerged in the literature recently. An extensive discussion took place on whether the icephobicity is related to the superhydrophobicity, and the consensus is that there is no direct correlation. Besides the parallel between the icephobicity and superhydrophobicity for water/ice repellency, there are similarities on other levels including the hydrophobic effect/hydrophobic interactions, mechanisms of protein folding and ice crystal formation. In this paper, we report how ice adhesion is different from water using force balance analysis, and why superhydrophobic surfaces are not necessary icephobic. We also present experimental data on anti-icing of various surfaces and suggest a definition of icephobicity, which is broad enough to cover a variety of situations relevant to de-icing including low adhesion strength and delayed ice crystallization and bouncing.
A computer numerical control (CNC) apparatus was used to perform droplet centrifugation, droplet DNA extraction, and rapid droplet thermocycling on a single superhydrophobic surface and a multi-chambered PCB heater. Droplets were manipulated using “wire-guided” method (a pipette tip was used in this study). This methodology can be easily adapted to existing commercial robotic pipetting system, while demonstrated added capabilities such as vibrational mixing, high-speed centrifuging of droplets, simple DNA extraction utilizing the hydrophobicity difference between the tip and the superhydrophobic surface, and rapid thermocycling with a moving droplet, all with wire-guided droplet manipulations on a superhydrophobic surface and a multi-chambered PCB heater (i.e., not on a 96-well plate). Serial dilutions were demonstrated for diluting sample matrix. Centrifuging was demonstrated by rotating a 10 μL droplet at 2300 round per minute, concentrating E. coli by more than 3-fold within 3 min. DNA extraction was demonstrated from E. coli sample utilizing the disposable pipette tip to cleverly attract the extracted DNA from the droplet residing on a superhydrophobic surface, which took less than 10 min. Following extraction, the 1500 bp sequence of Peptidase D from E. coli was amplified using rapid droplet thermocycling, which took 10 min for 30 cycles. The total assay time was 23 min, including droplet centrifugation, droplet DNA extraction and rapid droplet thermocycling. Evaporation from of 10 μL droplets was not significant during these procedures, since the longest time exposure to air and the vibrations was less than 5 min (during DNA extraction). The results of these sequentially executed processes were analyzed using gel electrophoresis. Thus, this work demonstrates the adaptability of the system to replace many common laboratory tasks on a single platform (through re-programmability), in rapid succession (using droplets), and with a high level of accuracy and automation.
Droplet manipulations; Escherichia coli; Peptidase D; Droplet PCR; Rapid PCR
Some relations between the two main types of thin liquid films, the water-in-air "soap" films and the invert oil-in-water "lipid" films, are outlined, and several dynamic aspects of film behavior are illustrated and briefly reviewed with reference to more complete treatments. These dynamic processes are important in both types of films, but are easier to study in soap films. The topics include the difference between rigid and mobile films and their interconversion; the origin and measurement of film elasticity; the effect of rate of formation upon film thickness, and the evidence against the existence of thick rigid water layers at the surface; and the kinetics of drainage and the role played in it by viscous flow, marginal regeneration, and intermolecular forces.