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Cross-Species Bioinspired Anisotropic Surfaces for Active Droplet Transportation Driven by Unidirectional Microcolumn Waves

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posted on 02.09.2020 by Yuegan Song, Shaojun Jiang, Guoqiang Li, Yachao Zhang, Hao Wu, Cheng Xue, Hongshu You, Dehu Zhang, Yong Cai, Jiangong Zhu, Wulin Zhu, Jiawen Li, Yanlei Hu, Dong Wu, Jiaru Chu
Natural evolution has endowed diverse species with distinct geometric micro/nanostructures exhibiting admirable functions. Examples include anisotropic microgrooves/microstripes on the rice leaf surface for passive liquid directional rolling, and motile microcilia widely existed in mammals’ body for active matter transportation through in situ oscillation. Till now, bionic studies have been extensively performed by imitating a single specific biologic functional system. However, bionic fabrication of devices integrating multispecies architectures is rarely reported, which may sparkle more fascinating functionalities beyond natural findings. Here, a cross-species design strategy is adopted by combining the anisotropic wettability of the rice leaf surface and the directional transportation characteristics of motile cilia. High-aspect-ratio magnetically responsive microcolumn array (HAR-MRMA) is prepared for active droplet transportation. It is found that just like the motile microcilia, the unidirectional waves are formed by the real-time reconstruction of the microcolumn array under the moving magnetic field, enabling droplet (1–6 μL) to transport along the predetermined anisotropic orbit. Meanwhile, on-demand droplet horizontal transportation on the inclined plane can be realized by the rice leaf-like anisotropic surface, showcasing active nongravity-driven droplet transportation capability of the HAR-MRMA. The directional lossless transportation of droplet holds great potential in the fields of microfluidics, chemical microreaction, and intelligent droplet control system.

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