Microfluidic Pac-Man

Using coalescence, researchers guide a microfluidic droplet through a maze.

Researchers are using coalescence to guide microdroplets through a miniature maze, a la Pac-Man. To steer the main droplet, they place a smaller droplet nearby in the direction they want to move. When the drops coalesce, it moves the main droplet in the target direction. By repeating the process, researchers can drive the drop through a maze or perform tasks like cleaning or transporting particles by picking them up. Learn more over at APS Physics. (Image and research credit: J. Chaaban et al.; via APS Physics)

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