Magnetically responsive droplet interface bilayer networks
Brahmbhatt, Khushboo Devang
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This work explores incorporating ferrofluids into droplet interface bilayer (DIB) networks, using magnetic nanoparticles for the arrangement and creation of complex membrane networks and their remote mechanical manipulation. First, a suitable biocompatible ferrofluid is developed. DIBs between droplets containing the ferrofluid are constructed, with both symmetric and asymmetric distributions of the ferrofluid in the droplets and their stability and quality are assessed. The response of the individual droplets is dependent on their ferrofluid composition, leading to complex self-assembly behaviors of cellular networks. Strategies for controlling the formation of these networks are examined and discussed. Developing a more rapid solution for creating complex DIB networks may open the door for applying this technique to study transmembrane proteins, creating a biologically adaptive material, and perhaps advancing the field towards the tissue scale in the future.