A simple technique is presented for controlling the shapes of micro- and nanodrops by patterning surfaces with special hydrophilic regions surrounded by hydrophobic boundaries. Finite element method simulations link the shape of the hydrophilic regions to that of the droplets. Shaped droplets are used to controllably pattern planar surfaces and microwell arrays with microparticles and cells at the micro- and macroscales. Droplets containing suspended sedimenting particles, initially at uniform concentration, deposit more particles under deeper regions than under shallow regions. The resulting surface concentration is thus proportional to the local fluid depth and agrees well with the measured and simulated droplet profiles. A second application is also highlighted in which shaped droplets of prepolymer solution are crosslinked to synthesize microgels with tailored 3D geometry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)