3D-printed an All-liquid Lab on a Chip Can Be Infinitely Reconfigured on Demand

Berkeley Labs has 3D-printed an all-liquid device that, with the click of a button, can be repeatedly reconfigured on demand to serve a wide range of applications – from making battery materials to screening drug candidates. The 3D-printed device can be programmed to carry out multistep, complex chemical reactions on demand and can be reconfigured to efficiently and precisely combine molecules to form very specific products.

The multitasking device can also be programmed to function like an artificial circulatory system that separates molecules flowing through the channel and automatically removes unwanted byproducts while it continues to print a sequence of bridges to specific catalysts, and carry out the steps of chemical synthesis.

Nature Communications – Harnessing liquid-in-liquid printing and micropatterned substrates to fabricate 3-dimensional all-liquid fluidic devices

Systems comprised of immiscible liquids held in non-equilibrium shapes by the interfacial assembly and jamming of nanoparticle−polymer surfactants have significant potential to advance catalysis, chemical separations, energy storage and conversion. Spatially directing functionality within them and coupling processes in both phases remains a challenge. Here, we exploit nanoclay−polymer surfactant assemblies at an oil−water interface to produce a semi-permeable membrane between the liquids, and from them all-liquid fluidic devices with bespoke properties. Flow channels are fabricated using micropatterned 2D substrates and liquid-in-liquid 3D printing. The anionic walls of the device can be functionalized with cationic small molecules, enzymes, and colloidal nanocrystal catalysts. Multi-step chemical transformations can be conducted within the channels under flow, as can selective mass transport across the liquid−liquid interface for in-line separations. These all-liquid systems become automated using pumps, detectors, and control systems, revealing a latent ability for chemical logic and learning.

The ability to shape immiscible liquids into prescribed architectures and reconfigure them on-demand is an emerging design paradigm in soft-matter materials chemistry. To trap a liquid indefinitely in a nonequilibrium shape within another liquid, a suitable elastic film must be assembled at the liquid–liquid interface.

The 3D all-liquid fluidic devices that are infinitely reconfigurable and endowed with spatially programmable functions. In turn, we gain insights into their potential for rendering chemical systems of arbitrary complexity to perform tasks, including chemical separations, multi-step chemical transformations, and chemical logic.

SOURCES- Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Nature Communications
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

7 thoughts on “3D-printed an All-liquid Lab on a Chip Can Be Infinitely Reconfigured on Demand”

  1. If chemistry sets are outlawed only outlaws will have chemistry sets.

    Translation, it stops law abiding people and companies from doing their perfectly innocent business, but someone is synthesising Sarin in the house next door anyway.

  2. The only problem is: banning never works long term.
    Even middle/short term rarely works too.
    When the incentives are powerful enough, someone will do it for the right amount of money.

  3. Pt2

    -Carried out a program of abduction and kidnapping of Chinese nationals whether they have claimed asylum or are citizens of other nations WHILE said victims are on foreign soil. Including the former head of Interpol (while he was acting head of said organization-they are now following and threatening his wife also).

    -Sale loads of weapons to most african warlords and leaders in return for oil.

    Really I can keep going. I can even go way back in history and explore that.

  4. That’s because you don’t think. Or rather no one has told you to worry about something so you simply don’t.

    Lets go with a few of the problems.

    CCP Has

    -set up the worlds largest and most repressive information monitoring/control system with the express purpose of controlling the thinking and actions of their entire nation.

    -set up a social credit system that monitors and punishes those for not doing what the society considers “acceptable”.(don’t worry you can get out of it if you have money!-Cause how could that lead to massive corruption and accountability problems!?)

    -Spent the last decade giving away loans to several nations at rates they can’t afford in an effort to “spread infrastructure and prosperity” only to then take over the said property (often sea ports with deep water access-perfect for warships) there by making it Chinese government property. Then also often bring over Chinese workers to do most of the jobs.

    -Building up a Navy larger than the US and Japans combined (Hint: their coast guard is literally just another Navy-which is obvious when you see the ships are nothing more than warships. Its a way of fooling the weak minded and unobservant.) btw: they are in many ways better than the US vessels.

    -Have taken over and declared the south china sea ENTIRELY theirs. Threatened and attacked numerous ships in those same water while also building a massive amount of islands which they have placed weapons and runways. Massive environmental damage btw.

  5. “…China gaining another advantage in…”

    Could someone please explain to me why this is a bad thing and/or important enough i should strive against it.

    That driver appears to keep a lot of people up at night while i sleep like a baby, i don’t get it.

  6. Yep, the ability to rearrange atoms can upset the existing social order. Because it allows people to do things they aren’t supposed to do. Drugs, medicine, explosives, poisons, a lot of power shifting hands just by having the power of rearranging atoms.

    The safest bet is it will be banned for average Joes usage. Government will keep it for itself due to its many potential uses, but under lock and chain.

  7. Place your bets!

    • The tech is banned because it can be used to produce narcotics- 1:3 odds
    • The tech is banned because it can be used to produce explosives- 1:6
    • The tech is banned because it can be used to produce chemical weapons – 1:3
    • The tech is banned because it can be used to produce performance enhancing drugs- 1:6
    • The tech is banned because it can be used to produce medicines – 1:6
    • The tech is banned because it can be used to produce something that doesn’t even make sense, but the MSM run scare stories anyway 1:5
    • The tech is not banned per se, but is crippled and incorporates spyware to try to prevent wrongthink – 1:4
    • The tech is banned and in the process the legislation is made too broad and also cripples some existing chemistry technology, resulting in China gaining another advantage in R&D – 1:5

    Yes I know those odds add up to more than 1. Those are not mutually exclusive events.


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