ICON - Influence of chemistry on microfluidics

Short term visitor's project

The project aims to control fluid flow at the microscale in porous materials. We will focus here on paper-based materials. On one hand, the porous structures may be modified and characterized considering both surface and bulk. On the other hand, chemicals may be used to locally  modify the flow, building canals, inducing hydrophobic areas. The objective consists therefore in the ability to guide a fluid from a source to a targeted area using capillary forces, considering, if possible, both the quantity of the fluid and the kinetics of the phenomena to obtain macroscopic functionalities. Furthermore, we would like to evaluate the possibility of using green chemicals.


We consider mainly two applications:


1) Healthcare:  i) we have to ensure the path of a fluid in order to connect in series different biopiles to reach the expected voltage (3V). ii) New devices based on the coupling of magnetism and microfluidic


2) Paper-based Shelters


We will focus in the two first topics, and take the advantage of the venue of T. Martin to establish a project dedicated to the last subject.


Hence, the 3D propagation of fluid in chemically modified papers will be characterized (i) at macroscopic scale, (ii) at microscopic scale in real time using Ultrafast tomography at ESRF. Preliminary experiments carried out at ESRF proved the feasibility of such characterization.


If successful, these projects should have great impact of both scientific, technological, and societal aspects.


  • PI: Jean-Francis Bloch
  • Co-PI: Martin Thuo (visitor)


  • 3SR
  • Department of Materials Science and Engineering (Iowa State University, USA)