McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University
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Bartosz Grzybowski Featured on BBC Radio Program
Bartosz Grzybowski, the Kenneth Burgess Professor of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Systems Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, was interviewed on the BBC radio program “Material World” regarding his research that shows how droplets of oil can make their way through complex mazes.
Click here to listen to the interview.
Gryzbowski created a system in which the droplets were powered by the combination of acid/base chemistry and surface tension effects. When subject to a pH gradient within a maze, the droplets moved toward regions of low pH and found the shortest possible path through the maze.
The technique could have implications in cancer therapy, as cancers are more acidic than the rest of the body. Researchers could potentially design drugs to follow the pH gradient to cancer cells.
Published in January in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the research has been featured in Science, Nature, and Popular Science, among other publications.
Click here to watch a video of the droplets navigating the maze.