Special Issue "Research on Dynamics and Kinematics of Droplet-Based Miniaturized Reactors"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Manufacturing Processes and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 1346

Special Issue Editors

Center for Microflows and Nanoflows, School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
Interests: droplet microfluidics; soft matter; lab-on-a-chip; miniaturized reactors/sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Interests: droplet microfluidics; soft matter; aqueous phase separation; RNA aptamers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Droplets serve as ideal miniaturized platforms for various biochemical reactions in natural and artificial processes. The compartmentalization at small spatial scales with enlarged surface-to-volume ratios empowers droplet-based reactors with unique advantages, including small reagent volumes, well-defined reaction conditions, rapid mixing, reinforced interfacial effects, enhanced reaction efficiencies, and high-throughput analysis. In particular, droplet-based reactors could facilitate biochemical reactions that are thermodynamically unfavorable in the bulk phase.

Over the past two decades, droplet-based reactors have been extensively investigated and deployed in numerous emerging fields, including micro/nanofluidics, bio-inspired/biomimetic materials and systems, soft/active matters, thermal processes and engineering, environmental science and technologies, and new energy. A better understanding of the dynamics and kinematics of versatile droplets is important for exploration, design, manufacturing, and applications of droplet-based reactors towards different scenarios on demand. Recent advances in experimental and computational methodologies for the characterization of flow fields and chemical reaction processes can provide finer spatiotemporally resolved details in dynamics and kinematics within droplets. Additionally, various responsive functional materials and technologies are emerging to build more advanced droplet-based reactors. As a result, more and more efficient liquid manipulation methods for discrete droplets can be expected, with possibilities for future applications extending to a wider range of research interests.

This Special Issue, “Research on Dynamics and Kinematics of Droplet-based Miniaturized Reactors”, aims to highlight up-to-date fundamental studies and applications of motions and processes related to droplet-based reactors in any research paper format, short communication, or review article. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Experimental/theoretical/computational fluid dynamics within droplets;
  • New droplet manipulation methods towards various applications and processes;
  • Biochemical reactions and processes facilitated by functional droplets;
  • Kinetics of droplet-based reactors in biochemical processes.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Dr. Jing Jin
Dr. Wei Guo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • fluid dynamics
  • kinematics
  • droplets
  • microfluidics
  • microreactors
  • manipulation
  • biochemical analysis

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Fundamentals and Manipulation of Bare Droplets and Liquid Marbles as Open Microfluidic Platforms
Processes 2023, 11(4), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11040983 - 23 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1064
Microfluidics, as one of the most valuable analytical technologies of this century, has played an important role in various fields. Particularly, out-of-channel microfluidics, often referred to as open microfluidics (OMF) has recently drawn wide research attention among scholars for its great potential in [...] Read more.
Microfluidics, as one of the most valuable analytical technologies of this century, has played an important role in various fields. Particularly, out-of-channel microfluidics, often referred to as open microfluidics (OMF) has recently drawn wide research attention among scholars for its great potential in convenient manual intervention. Much recent research has been geared toward bare droplets and particle-armed droplets (namely liquid marbles, LMs), which could serve as independent systems in OMF. Their versatile applications include but are not limited to nanomaterials preparation, energy harvesting, cell culture and environment monitoring. These applications are mainly attributed to the excellent independence, low reagent consumption and short reaction time of separate droplets and LMs. In addition, more operation features, such as diverse handling options, flexible controllability and high precision, further enable droplets and LMs carrying small liquid biochemical samples to be manipulated in an open environment freely. Considering the emergence of important research on bare droplets and LMs, this paper systematically reviews the state of the art in the fundamentals and manipulation of the two novel platforms under the frame of OMF. First, the intrinsic property of bare droplets on solid substrates, especially on superhydrophobic ones, is discussed, followed by the formation mechanism of nonwetting LMs and the effect of coating particles on LMs’ performance. Then, friction obstacles and actuation principles raised in driving droplets and LMs are further analyzed theoretically. Subsequently, several classical types of manipulation tasks for both droplets and LMs, namely transportation, coalescence, mixing and splitting, are discussed with a focus on key techniques to accomplish the tasks aforementioned. Finally, the fundamental and manipulation similarities and differences between bare droplets and LMs are summarized and future developments towards droplet- or LM-based microreactors and microsensors are recommended accordingly. Full article
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