Special Issue "Microscale Surface Tension and Its Applications"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Pierre Lambert

Université libre de Bruxelles, TIPs CP165/67, Av. F.D. Roosevelt 50, B1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +32-(0)2-650-42-44
Interests: Microfluidics; Microengineering; Surface Tension; Mechanical design
Guest Editor
Dr. Massimo Mastrangeli

Electronic Components, Technology and Materials (ECTM), Department of Microelectronics, Delft University of Technology, Building 36, Feldmannweg 17, 2628CT Delft, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31-(0)15-27-83835
Interests: Self-assembly; material interfaces; microsystems; nanoparticle-based devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Building on advances in miniaturization and soft matter, surface tension effects are a major key to the development of soft/fluidic microrobotics. Benefiting from scaling laws, surface tension and capillary effects can enable sensing, actuation, adhesion, confinement, compliance, and other structural and functional properties necessary in micro- and nanosystems.

Various applications are under development: microfluidic and lab-on-chip devices, soft gripping and manipulation of particles, colloidal and interfacial assemblies, fluidic/droplet mechatronics. The capillary action is ubiquitous in drops, bubbles and menisci, opening a broad spectrum of technological solutions and scientific investigations. Identified grand challenges to the establishment of fluidic microrobotics include mastering the dynamics of capillary effects, controlling the hysteresis arising from wetting and evaporation, improving the dispensing and handling of tiny droplets, and developing a mechatronic approach for the control and programming of surface tension effects. 

In this Special Issue of Micromachines, we invite contributions covering all aspects of microscale engineering relying on surface tension. Particularly, we welcome contributions on fundamentals or applications related to: 

  • Drop-botics: fluidic or surface tension-based micro/nanorobotics: capillary manipulation, gripping, and actuation, sensing, folding, propulsion and bio-inspired solutions;
  • Control of surface tension effects: surface tension gradients, active surfactants, thermocapillarity, electrowetting, elastocapillarity;
  • Handling of droplets, bubbles and liquid bridges: dispensing, confinement, displacement, stretching, rupture, evaporation;
  • Capillary forces: modelling, measurement, simulation;
  • Interfacial engineering: smart liquids, surface treatments;
  • Interfacial fluidic and capillary assembly of colloids and devices;
  • Biological applications of surface tension, including lab-on-chip and organ-on-chip systems.

We expect novel as well as review contributions on all aspects of surface tension-based micro/nanoengineering. In line with Micromachines' policy, we also invite research proposals that introduce ideas for new applications, devices, or technologies. 

Prof. Dr. Pierre Lambert
Dr. Massimo Mastrangeli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Surface tension
  • capillarity
  • microsystems and systems-on-chip
  • soft- and microrobotics
  • manipulation and assembly
  • interfaces
  • droplets

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.

Journal Contact

Micromachines Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
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