Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Dripping, jetting, drops, and wetting: the magic of microfluidics
Speaker: Prof. David A. Weitz, Harvard University
The Wulff Lecture is an introductory, general audience, entertaining lecture which serves to educate, inspire, and encourage MIT undergraduates to take up study of materials science and engineering and related fields. The entire MIT community, particularly freshmen, is invited to attend. The Wulff Lecture honors the late Professor John Wulff, a skilled, provocative, and entertaining teacher who conceived of a new approach to teaching general chemistry and inaugurated the popular freshman subject, 3.091 Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry.
This talk will discuss the use of microfluidic devices to precisely control the flow and mixing of fluids to make drops, and will explore a variety of uses of these drops. These drops can be used to create new materials that are difficult to synthesize with any other method. These materials have great potential for use for encapsulation and release and for drug delivery and for cosmetics. I will also show how the exquisite control afforded by microfluidic devices provides enabling technology to use droplets as microreactors to perform reactions at remarkably high rates using very small quantities of fluids.