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Electrotaxis behavior of droplets composed of aqueous Belousov-Zhabotinsky solutions suspended in oil phase

Back, O., Asally, M., Wang, Z. and Hayashi, Y. (2023) Electrotaxis behavior of droplets composed of aqueous Belousov-Zhabotinsky solutions suspended in oil phase. Scientific Reports, 13. 1340. ISSN 2045-2322

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-27639-8


Taxis is ubiquitous in biological and physical chemistry systems as a response to various external stimulations. We prepared aqueous droplets containing Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) solutions suspended on an oleic acid oil phase subject to DC electric field and found that these BZ droplets undergo chemically driven translational motion towards the negative electrode under DC electric field. This electrotaxis phenomenon originates from the field-induced inhomogeneous distribution of reactants, in particular Br− ions, and consequently the biased location of the leading centers towards the positive electrode. We define the ’Leading center’ (LC), where the BZ chemical wave (target pattern) is initiated within a whole droplet at a specific location within the droplet. The chemical wave generated from the LC propagates passing the droplet center of mass and creates a gradient of interfacial tension when reaching the droplet-oil interface on the other side, resulting in a momentum exchange between the droplet and oil phases which drives the droplet motion in the opposite direction of the electric field. A greater electric field strength renders a more substantial electrotaxis effect.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code:109765
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group


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