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Physico-Chemical and Microfluidic Approaches Toward Engineering Oscillating and Communicating Chemical Droplets

Abstract : Generation, propagation and reception of (bio/chemical) information between individual organisms are the keystone of many intelligent communicating systems, and are ubiquitous in Nature. Colonies of fireflies synchronize their flashes, and contraction and expansion of heart muscles are few examples among others, where bio/chemical signals generated by synchronized sources produce a cooperative behaviour. The final objective of this thesis is to develop a reliable platform for generating communicative networks of liposomes, encapsulating the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction as source of information or transmitted signals, and to study the dynamics of such a system. To reach this goal, several issues were addressed by following bottom-up and multi-scale approaches. First we investigated the interaction between both bulk DMPC liposomes, and liposomes doped with cholesterol, myristic acid, tetradecylsulfate, tetradecylamine, and the species involved in the BZ-reaction by using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and UV-visible spectrophotometry. Than 1D arrays of micro-droplets were fabricated by encapsulating the BZ reaction into microdroplets by means of microfluidics, and the communication between adjacent droplets was studied. Later, we demonstrated an easy to assemble/disassemble and robust design for a microfluidic device with adjustable geometry, for generating monodisperse water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) double emulsions. Finally, the behavior of w/o/w double emulsions generated in a microfluidic device, using phospholipids as surfactant and chloroform as the oil phase, was reported. We showed, with this composition of the oil phase, that the dynamic behaviour of the double emulsions under flow gave rise to different phenomena, such as deformation and tip-streaming.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01616072, version 1

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Kristian Torbensen. Physico-Chemical and Microfluidic Approaches Toward Engineering Oscillating and Communicating Chemical Droplets. Chemical Physics [physics.chem-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066707⟩. ⟨tel-01616072⟩

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