Special Issue "Microfluidic Platforms for Crystallography"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Josep Puigmartí-Luis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich
Interests: synthesis and control self-assembly of functional organic and inorganic materials (in solution and at surfaces) via microfluidic technologies; further, developing these technologies to command and understand the formation and function of unprecedented out-of-equilibrium assemblies (a key aspect to unveil structure-properties correlations of new functional matter)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Self-assembly processes, such as crystallizations, are ubiquitous in nature and have greatly contributed to the evolution of living organisms. It is for this reason that crystallizations have been broadly studied in the scientific community. In order to get a better understanding of life, and its existing active machinery, one needs to unveil vital players in biology development, being crystallization processes one of the essential coders. To date, however, most efforts made to study, understand, and control crystallization processes have been conducted under equilibrium conditions (i.e., thermodynamic control). Moreover, these studies have focused mainly on chemical approaches; derivatization and/or design of new molecular components. In sharp contrast, nature can remarkably control crystallization processes obtaining non-equilibrium crystal forms (i.e., kinetic control), which can then be used to achieve specific functions.

In this context, microfluidic technologies have recently proved to be excellent platforms to study and manipulate crystallization processes; thermodynamic to kinetic control assembly can be accomplished in microfluidic conditions. This Special Issue on “Microfluidic Platforms for Crystallography” aims at providing the latest advances in this emergent field of research, connecting experts from different scientific disciplines that wish to gain further insights in crystallization processes. Therefore, we invite contributions from researchers working in a wide range of scientific disciplines and that make use of microfluidic technologies for crystallization studies.

Dr. Josep Puigmartí-Luis
Guest Editor

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. Crystals 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 1800 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.

Keywords

  • Self-assembly
  • Crystallization
  • Kinetic and thermodynamic control
  • Out-of-equilibrium

 

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Communication
Molecular Synchronization Enhances Molecular Interactions: An Explanatory Note of Pressure Effects
Crystals 2018, 8(7), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst8070300 - 20 Jul 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
In this study, we investigated a unique aspect of the supramolecular polymerization of tetrakis (4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS), a self-assembling porphyrin, under non-equilibrium conditions by subtracting the effects of back-pressure on its polymerization. We focused on the enhanced self-assembly abilities of TPPS under a [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated a unique aspect of the supramolecular polymerization of tetrakis (4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS), a self-assembling porphyrin, under non-equilibrium conditions by subtracting the effects of back-pressure on its polymerization. We focused on the enhanced self-assembly abilities of TPPS under a process of rapid proton diffusion in a microflow channel. Rapid protonation caused synchronization of many sets of protonation/deprotonation equilibria on the molecular scale, leading to the production of many sets of growing suparmolecular spices. Pressure effects in the microflow channel, which could potentially promote self-assembly of TPPS, were negligible, becoming predominant only when the system was in the synchronized state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Platforms for Crystallography)
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Perspective
Continuous- versus Segmented-Flow Microfluidic Synthesis in Materials Science
Crystals 2019, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9010012 - 24 Dec 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2422
Abstract
Materials science is a fast-evolving area that aims to uncover functional materials with ever more sophisticated properties and functions. For this to happen, new methodologies for materials synthesis, optimization, and preparation are desired. In this context, microfluidic technologies have emerged as a key [...] Read more.
Materials science is a fast-evolving area that aims to uncover functional materials with ever more sophisticated properties and functions. For this to happen, new methodologies for materials synthesis, optimization, and preparation are desired. In this context, microfluidic technologies have emerged as a key enabling tool for a low-cost and fast prototyping of materials. Their ability to screen multiple reaction conditions rapidly with a small amount of reagent, together with their unique physico-chemical characteristics, have made microfluidic devices a cornerstone technology in this research field. Among the different microfluidic approaches to materials synthesis, the main contenders can be classified in two categories: continuous-flow and segmented-flow microfluidic devices. These two families of devices present very distinct characteristics, but they are often pooled together in general discussions about the field with seemingly little awareness of the major divide between them. In this perspective, we outline the parallel evolution of those two sub-fields by highlighting the key differences between both approaches, via a discussion of their main achievements. We show how continuous-flow microfluidic approaches, mimicking nature, provide very finely-tuned chemical gradients that yield highly-controlled reaction–diffusion (RD) areas, while segmented-flow microfluidic systems provide, on the contrary, very fast homogenization methods, and therefore well-defined super-saturation regimes inside arrays of micro-droplets that can be manipulated and controlled at the milliseconds scale. Those two classes of microfluidic reactors thus provide unique and complementary advantages over classical batch synthesis, with a drive towards the rational synthesis of out-of-equilibrium states for the former, and the preparation of high-quality and complex nanoparticles with narrow size distributions for the latter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Platforms for Crystallography)
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