University of Oulu

Beyazkilic, P., Akcimen, S., Elbuken, C., Ortaç, B., Cai, S., Bukusoglu, E., Contactless Pulsed and Continuous Microdroplet Release Using Photothermal Liquid Crystals. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2022, 32, 2205385.

Contactless pulsed and continuous microdroplet release using photothermal liquid crystals

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Author: Beyazkilic, Pinar1; Akcimen, Samet2; Elbuken, Caglar2,3;
Organizations: 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Dumlupınar Bulvarı No:1 Çankaya, Ankara, 06800 Turkey
2Institute of Materials Science Nanotechnology, National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM), Bilkent University, Ankara, 06800 Turkey
3Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, 90014 Finland
4Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093 USA
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-08-24


Targeted, on-demand delivery has been of interest using materials responsive to environmental stimuli. A delivery technique based on precise release of aqueous microdroplets from a liquid crystal (LC) medium with contactless stimulation is presented. A nematic LC is doped with a photothermal dye that produces heat under near IR light exposure. The heat is used to overcome the elastic strains in the LC phase, promoting the release of initially entrapped water droplets to the neighboring aqueous solution. Designing the geometry of LC-based emulsions and tuning the light intensity and position allows for manipulation of the release in two distinct modes defined as pulsated and continuous. In the pulsated mode, water droplets are released transiently from the casted water-in-LC emulsion layer based on sweeping by the moving isotropic-nematic phase boundary controlled by light. In the continuous mode, water droplets are ejected continuously from a droplet-shaped water-in-LC emulsion, due to a heating-induced internal flow controlled by light. The droplet release by contactless stimulation is used for the on-demand dosing of dopamine and its oxidizing reagent from isolated reservoirs to obtain an in situ reaction signal for a hydrogen peroxide assay. A new dual-mode release system developed with photothermal LCs holds potential in drug release, controlled mixing, and photothermal therapy.

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Series: Advanced functional materials
ISSN: 1616-301X
ISSN-E: 1616-3028
ISSN-L: 1616-301X
Volume: 32
Issue: 44
Article number: 2205385
DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202205385
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) BİDEB-National Postdoctoral Research Program under the Project No. 118C462. The authors thank Dr. Selda Sezer for their help in zeta potential measurements.
Copyright information: © 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Beyazkilic, P., Akcimen, S., Elbuken, C., Ortaç, B., Cai, S., Bukusoglu, E., Contactless Pulsed and Continuous Microdroplet Release Using Photothermal Liquid Crystals. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2022, 32, 2205385, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.