Stimuli-Responsive Bioinspired Materials for Controllable Liquid Manipulation: Principles, Fabrication, and Applications

Yuanfeng Wang, Kaikai Ma, John Haozhong Xin

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Many emerging interfacial technologies, such as self-cleaning surfaces, oil/water separation, water collection, and microfluidics, are essentially liquid manipulation processes. In this regard, micro-nanostructures of the living organisms are highly preferable, by virtue of the evolutionary pressure and the adaptation to the specific environments, to inspire the optimization of man-made interfaces. With the increasing demands of modern life, research, and industry, intelligent materials with stimuli-responsive liquid manipulation functions have gained substantial attention from interfacial scientists. This review introduces the recent progress in the development of stimuli-responsive liquid-manipulating materials with bioinspired structures and surface chemistry according to two classified manipulation modes: (i) smart manipulation of liquid wetting behaviors, including lyophobic/lyophilic and superlyophobic/superlyophilic, and (ii) smart manipulation of liquid motion behaviors, including coalescence, transportation, rolling/adhesion, and sliding/pinning. At the beginning of the presentation of each classification, the theoretical basis and the sources of inspiration are introduced comprehensively to ensure a better understanding. This review mainly focuses on the mechanisms, fabrication, and applications of the state-of-the-art works related to smart and biomimetic liquid-manipulating materials. Finally, conclusions and future prospects are provided, and the remaining problems and promising breakthroughs in fabricating large-scale, cost-effective, and efficient smart liquid-manipulating materials are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1705128
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018


  • bioinspired materials
  • liquid manipulation
  • materials and interfacial science
  • micro/nanostructures
  • stimuli-responsive materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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