Abstract: Microchip has long been studied and facilitated recent investigations in multiple biomedical and material fields. The advances in functional materials triggered several leaps in the development of microchip technologyMicroarray chip, benefiting from micropatterning and nucleic acid nanotechnology, was firstly introduced around 1980 and rapidly facilitated genomics, proteomics, and biodetections. In the following generation, the microfluidic chips, raised from microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and soft lithography, are revolutionizing several areas like biology, material fabrication, energy, and environmental science. More recently, the advances in materials fabrication keep expanding the frontiers of microchip platforms, like nanoscale fabrications and flexible device manufacturing. One of the most promising platforms is the wettability-patterned materials inspired by ubiquitous natural wetting creatures such as lotus leaf, spider silk, and Stenocara beetles. The unique property of handling liquids with no sophisticated equipment potentially facilitated the current microchip platform by combining the merits of microarray and microfluidics, and in turn, benefits material communities and beyond. In this featured article, we briefly introduce the state of art technologies to fabricate wettability-patterned chips and highlight some proof-of-concept demonstration of its emerging applications in material and biomedical science. We also give an outlook on its further developments including machine-learning micropattern manufacturing technology and reveal its potentiality to revolute several scientific areas.

Wettability-patterned microchip for emerging biomedical materials and technologies
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2021.10.008