Liquid marbles exhibit great potential for use as miniature labs for small-scale laboratory operations, such as experiment and measurement. While important progress has been made recently in exploring their applications as microreactions, “on-line“ measurement of the components inside the liquid still remains a challenge. Herein, it is demonstrated that “on-line“ detection can be realized on magnetic liquid marbles by taking advantage of their unique magnetic opening feature. By partially opening the particle shell, electrochemical measurement is carried out with a miniaturized three-electrode probe and the application of this technique for quantitative measurement of dopamine is demonstrated. Fully opened magnetic liquid marble makes it feasible to detect the optical absorbance of the liquid in a transmission mode. With this optical method, a glucose assay is demonstrated. Moreover, when magnetic particle shell contains low melting point material, e.g., wax, the liquid marble shows a unique encapsulation ability to form a rigid shell after heating, which facilitates the storage of the non-volatile ingredients. These unique features, together with the versatile use as microreactors, enable magnetic liquid marbles to function as a miniature lab (or called “lab in a droplet“), which may find applications in clinical diagnostics, biotechnology, chemical synthesis, and analytical chemistry.
Field of Research
091205 Functional Materials 030603 Colloid and Surface Chemistry
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