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Detail of the microfluidic system, the tissue barrier and the hydrogel
Engineering Tissue Barrier Models on Hydrogel Microfluidic Platforms
Vera, D., García-Díaz, M., Torras, N., Álvarez, M., Villa, R., Martinez, E.

Tissue barriers play a crucial role in human physiology by establishing tissue compartmentalization and regulating organ homeostasis. Combining hydrogels with microfluidics technology provides unique opportunities to better recreate in vitro the tissue barrier models including the cellular components and the functionality of the in vivo tissues. Such platforms have the potential of greatly improving the predictive capacities of the in vitro systems in applications such as drug development, or disease modeling. Nevertheless, their development is not without challenges in their microfabrication. In this review, we will discuss the recent advances driving the fabrication of hydrogel microfluidic platforms and their applications in multiple tissue barrier models.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 12, 13920–13933.

Direct Visualization of Anti-Ferroelectric Switching Dynamics via Electrocaloric Imaging
Direct Visualization of Anti-Ferroelectric Switching Dynamics via Electrocaloric Imaging
Vales-Castro, P., Vellvehi, M., Perpiñà, X., Caicedo, J. M., Jordà, X., Faye, R., Roleder, K., Kajewski, D., Perez-Tomas, A., Defay, E., Catalan, G.

The large electrocaloric coupling in PbZrO3 allows using high-speed infrared imaging for visualizing anti-ferroelectric switching dynamics via the associated temperature change. It is found that in ceramic samples of homogeneous temperature and thickness, switching is fast due to the generation of multiple nucleation sites, with devices responding in the millisecond range. By introducing gradients of thickness, however, it is possible to change the dynamics to propagation limited, whereby a single-phase boundary sweeps across the sample like a cold front, at a speed of ≈20 cm s−1. Additionally, introducing thermostatic temperature differences between two sides of the sample enables the simultaneous generation of a negative electrocaloric effect on one side and a positive one on the other, yielding a Janus-like electrocaloric response.

Advanced Electronic Materials, 2021, 2100380, DOI: 10.1002/aelm.202100380

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