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Underwater Unidirectional Cellular Fluidics

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journal contribution
posted on 11.02.2022, 17:40 authored by Mingzhu Xie, Huigao Duan, Ping Cheng, Yongping Chen, Zhichao Dong, Zhaolong Wang
The unidirectional fluidics underwater promises the manipulation of gas/liquid for various significant applications. Inspired by the unique stomata on the surface of hornwort stems and leaves that enable the transport and storage of oxygen underwater, we propose a bionic cell with porous membranes fabricated by the projection microstereolithography based 3D printing technique. Different Laplace forces coming from different contact angles for the respectively superhydrophilic outside and hydrophobic inside promise unidirectional fluidic performance, which stop water flowing inside of the bionic cell while exhausting gas and liquid outside of it. In addition, geometric parameters of the bionic cell make a big difference in its unique unidirectional fluidic performance. Simultaneously, the underlying mechanisms of the unidirectional penetration of liquid in our 3D printed bionic cell are theoretically revealed. Moreover, we demonstrate potential applications of our bionic cell with underwater anaerobic chemical reactions to fully apply its outstanding unidirectional fluidics underwater. Our bionic cell opens a gate for potential applications in chemical and microfluidic engineering underwater, such as the storage of flammable materials, fast solid–liquid separations, and anaerobic chemical reactions.