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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Sep 26;10(38):31865-31869. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b13216. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

Collective Shape Actuation of Polymer Double Emulsions by Solvent Evaporation.

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Vascular Biology Program, Departments of Pathology and Surgery , Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School , Boston , Massachusetts 02115 , United States.


We demonstrate that the shape actuation of water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion droplets can be achieved by controlling solvent evaporation in a model system, where the oil phase consists of hydrophobic homopolymer/amphiphilic block copolymer/solvent. A gradient of interfacial tension is created in the polymer shell, which drives significant deformation of the droplets in constant volume. The deformed droplets recover to their initial shape spontaneously, and shape actuation of droplets can be further tuned by osmotic pressure. Our model system provides a new prototype for developing shape-responsive droplets in a solvent environment.


Marangoni stress; actuation; double emulsion; microactuator; solvent evaporation


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