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Patterning droplets with durotaxis
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2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 110, no 31, 12541-12544 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Numerous cell types have shown a remarkable ability to detect and move along gradients in stiffness of an underlying substrate-a process known as durotaxis. The mechanisms underlying durotaxis are still unresolved, but generally believed to involve active sensing and locomotion. Here, we show that simple liquid droplets also undergo durotaxis. By modulating substrate stiffness, we obtain fine control of droplet position on soft, flat substrates. Unlike other control mechanisms, droplet durotaxis works without imposing chemical, thermal, electrical, or topographical gradients. We show that droplet durotaxis can be used to create large-scale droplet patterns and is potentially useful for many applications, such as microfluidics, thermal control, and microfabrication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 110, no 31, 12541-12544 p.
Keyword [en]
droplet control, elasticity, soft matter, wetting, mechanosensing
National Category
Natural Sciences Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93676DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307122110ISI: 000322441500024OAI: diva2:647828


Funding Agencies:

Yale University;   Swedish Research Council;   National Science Foundation  DBI-0619674;  Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering;   Creative Research Initiatives (Functional X-ray Imaging) of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology/National Research Foundation of Korea;                           DOE  DE-AC02-06CH11357 

Available from: 2013-09-12 Created: 2013-09-12 Last updated: 2013-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita)
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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