Thermally-targeted adsorption and enrichment in microscale hydrothermal pore environments Conference Paper uri icon


  • The unique ability of chaotic advection under micro-scale confinement to direct chemical processes along accelerated kinetic pathways has long been recognized. But practical applications have been slow to emerge because optimal results are often counter-intuitively achieved in flows that appear to possess undesirably high disorder. Here we demonstrate how thermally actuated chaotic phenomena within these microenvironments are capable of establishing a continuous conveyor transporting chemical compounds from the bulk to targeted locations on solid boundaries where they become greatly enriched. These findings intriguingly suggest that microscale chaotic advection may offer a new- mechanism to explain emergence of biomolecular complexity from dilute organic precursors in the prebiotic milieu-a key unanswered question in the origin of life. We further show how these flows can be rationally designed and harnessed to execute bulk biochemical processes with a level of robustness previously thought unattainable. Copyright © (2013) by the Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society All rights reserved. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Priye, A., Hassan, Y. A., & Ugaz, V. M.

publication date

  • January 2013