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Solutal and thermal buoyancy effects in self-powered phosphatase micropumps

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Abstract

Immobilized enzymes generate net fluid flow when exposed to specific reagents in solution. Thus, they function as self-powered platforms that combine sensing and on-demand fluid pumping. To uncover the mechanism of pumping, we examine the effects of solutal and thermal buoyancy on the behavior of phosphatase-based micropumps, using a series of reactants with known thermodynamic and kinetic parameters. By combining modeling and experiments, we perform the first quantitative comparison of thermal and solutal effects in an enzyme micropump system. Despite the significant exothermicity of the catalyzed reactions, we find that thermal effects play a minimal role in the observed fluid flow. Instead, fluid transport in phosphatase micropumps is governed by the density difference between the reactants and the products of the reaction. This surprising conclusion suggests new design principles for catalytic pumps.

Graphical abstract: Solutal and thermal buoyancy effects in self-powered phosphatase micropumps

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Jan 2017, accepted on 15 Mar 2017, published on 17 Mar 2017 and first published online on 17 Mar 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00022G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
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    Solutal and thermal buoyancy effects in self-powered phosphatase micropumps

    L. Valdez, H. Shum, I. Ortiz-Rivera, A. C. Balazs and A. Sen, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00022G

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