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Open AccessArticle

Fast Active Merging of Microdroplets in Microfluidic Chambers Driven by Photo-Isomerisation of Azobenzene Based Surfactants

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Laboratoire de Photonique Quantique et Moléculaire (LPQM), UMR 8537, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris Saclay, CentraleSupélec, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 61 avenue du Président Wilson, 94235 Cachan, France
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Photophysique et Photochimie Supramoléculaires et Macromoléculaires (PPSM), UMR 8531, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris Saclay, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 61 avenue du Président Wilson, 94235 Cachan, France
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Laboratoire de Biologie et Pharmacologie AppliquéE (LBPA), UMR 8113, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris Saclay, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 61 avenue du Président Wilson, 94235 Cachan, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Microsystèmes D’Analyse (MICA), Laboratoire D’analyse et D’architecture des Systèmes (LAAS), CNRS, 31400 Toulouse, France.
Current address: Groupe D’étude de la Matière Condensée (GEMaC), Université de Versailles saint Quentin en Yvelines, 78000 Versailles, France.
§
Current address: Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040129
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
In this work, we report on the development of a newly synthesized photoactive reversible azobenzene derived surfactant polymer, which enables active and fast control of the merging of microdroplets in microfluidic chambers, driven by a pulsed UV laser optical stimulus and the well known cis-trans photo-isomerisation of azobenzene groups. We show for the first time that merging of microdroplets can be achieved optically based on a photo-isomerization process with a high spatio-temporal resolution. Our results show that the physical process lying behind the merging of microdroplets is not driven by a change in surface activity of the droplet stabilizing surfactant under UV illumination (as originally expected), and they suggest an original mechanism for the merging of droplets based on the well-known opto-mechanical motion of azobenzene molecules triggered by light irradiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: microdroplets; photo-isomerisation; photokinetics; opto-mechanics; conformational states microdroplets; photo-isomerisation; photokinetics; opto-mechanics; conformational states
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayat, Z.; Bchellaoui, N.; Deo, C.; Métivier, R.; Bogliotti, N.; Xie, J.; Buckle, M.; El Abed, A.I. Fast Active Merging of Microdroplets in Microfluidic Chambers Driven by Photo-Isomerisation of Azobenzene Based Surfactants. Biosensors 2019, 9, 129.

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