Micropumps powered by analyte-initiated depolymerization

Credits/Names: 

Penn State MRSEC DMR-0820404: Hua Zhang, Kimy Yeung, Jessica Robbins, Ryan Pavlick, Meng Wu, Ran Liu, Ayusman Sen and Scott Phillips

Insoluble polymer films depolymerize to release soluble monomeric products when exposed to a specific analyte. These depolymerization products create a concentration gradient that pumps fluids and insoluble particles away from the bulk polymer by diffusiophoresis, thereby amplifying the original signal.

These pumps can be designed to respond to a variety of analytes ranging from small molecules to enzymes in the next generation of smart micro/nanoscale devices.

Angew. Chem. 2012

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Year of Research Highlight: 
2011
IRG: 
IRG 2 - Molecular and Nanoscale Motors