Liquid-based gating mechanism with tunable multiphase selectivity and antifouling behaviour

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Liquid-based gating mechanism with tunable multiphase selectivity and antifouling behaviour

Citable link to this page


Title: Liquid-based gating mechanism with tunable multiphase selectivity and antifouling behaviour
Author: Hou, Xu; Hu, Yuhang; Grinthal, Alison Elizabeth; Khan, Mughees; Aizenberg, Joanna

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Hou, Xu, Yuhang Hu, Alison Grinthal, Mughees Khan, and Joanna Aizenberg. 2015. Liquid-Based Gating Mechanism with Tunable Multiphase Selectivity and Antifouling Behaviour. Nature 519, no. 7541: 70–73. doi:10.1038/nature14253. .
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: Living organisms make extensive use of micro- and nanometre-sized pores as gatekeepers for controlling the movement of fluids, vapours and solids between complex environments. The ability of such pores to coordinate multiphase transport, in a highly selective and subtly triggered fashion and without clogging, has inspired interest in synthetic gated pores for applications ranging from fluid processing to 3D printing and lab-on-chip systems. But although specific gating and transport behaviours have been realized by precisely tailoring pore surface chemistries and pore geometries a single system capable of controlling complex, selective multiphase transport has remained a distant prospect, and fouling is nearly inevitable. Here we introduce a gating mechanism that uses a capillary-stabilized liquid as a reversible, reconfigurable gate that fills and seals pores in the closed state, and creates a non-fouling, liquid-lined pore in the open state. Theoretical modelling and experiments demonstrate that for each transport substance, the gating threshold—the pressure needed to open the pores—can be rationally tuned over a wide pressure range. This enables us to realize in one system differential response profiles for a variety of liquids and gases, even letting liquids flow through the pore while preventing gas from escaping. These capabilities allow us to dynamically modulate gas–liquid sorting in a microfluidic flow and to separate a three-phase air–water–oil mixture, with the liquid lining ensuring sustained antifouling behaviour. Because the liquid gating strategy enables efficient long-term operation and can be applied to a variety of pore structures and membrane materials, and to micro- as well as macroscale fluid systems, we expect it to prove useful in a wide range of applications.
Published Version: doi:10.1038/nature14253
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search