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Magnetically Responsive Film Decorated with Microcilia for Robust and Controllable Manipulation of Droplets

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posted on 04.01.2021, 07:48 by Ge Chen, Ziyi Dai, Shunbo Li, Yifeng Huang, Yi Xu, Juncong She, Bingpu Zhou
Droplet manipulations are critical for applications ranging from biochemical analysis, medical diagnosis to environmental controls. Even though magnetic actuation has exhibited great potential, the capability of high-speed, precise manipulation, and mixing improvement covering a broad droplet volume has not yet been realized. Herein, we demonstrated that the magnetic actuation could be conveniently achieved via decorating the magnetically responsive film with microcilia. Under magnetic field, the film can quickly response with localized deformation, along with the microcilia to realize the surface superhydrophobicity for droplet manipulation with velocity up to ∼173 mm/s covering a broad volume of 2–100 μL. The robust system further allows us to realize rapid and complete droplet mixing within ∼1.6 s. In addition, the microcilia decorated surface can preserve the robust superhydrophobicity after various stability tests, for example, normal pressing, chemical corrosion, and mechanical abrasion, exhibiting the possibility toward the long-term and real applications. With the multifunctional demonstrations such as obvious mixing improvement, parallel manipulation, and serial dilution, we believe that the methodology can open up a magnetic field-based avenue for future applications in digital microfluidics, and biochemical assays, etc.