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Collective Shape Actuation of Polymer Double Emulsions by Solvent Evaporation

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posted on 10.09.2018, 00:00 by Weichao Shi, Jonathan E. Didier, Donald E. Ingber, David A. Weitz
We demonstrate that the shape actuation of water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion droplets can be achieved by controlling solvent evaporation in a model system, where the oil phase consists of hydrophobic homopolymer/amphiphilic block copolymer/solvent. A gradient of interfacial tension is created in the polymer shell, which drives significant deformation of the droplets in constant volume. The deformed droplets recover to their initial shape spontaneously, and shape actuation of droplets can be further tuned by osmotic pressure. Our model system provides a new prototype for developing shape-responsive droplets in a solvent environment.