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ACS Nano. 2014 Jan 28;8(1):771-9. doi: 10.1021/nn405433y. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Construction and manipulation of functional three-dimensional droplet networks.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford , Oxford OX1 3TA, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Previously, we reported the manual assembly of lipid-coated aqueous droplets in oil to form two-dimensional (2D) networks in which the droplets are connected through single lipid bilayers. Here we assemble lipid-coated droplets in robust, freestanding 3D geometries: for example, a 14-droplet pyramidal assembly. The networks are designed, and each droplet is placed in a designated position. When protein pores are inserted in the bilayers between specific constituent droplets, electrical and chemical communication pathways are generated. We further describe an improved means to construct 3D droplet networks with defined organizations by the manipulation of aqueous droplets containing encapsulated magnetic beads. The droplets are maneuvered in a magnetic field to form simple construction modules, which are then used to form larger 2D and 3D structures including a 10-droplet pyramid. A methodology to construct freestanding, functional 3D droplet networks is an important step toward the programmed and automated manufacture of synthetic minimal tissues.

PMID:
24341760
DOI:
10.1021/nn405433y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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