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Journal Article

Accelerated Ripening in Chemically Fueled Emulsions**


Janssen,  Jacqueline
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;


Weber,  Christoph A.
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Tena-Solsona, M., Janssen, J., Wanzke, C., Schnitter, F., Park, H., Riess, B., et al. (2021). Accelerated Ripening in Chemically Fueled Emulsions**. ChemSystemsChem, 3(2): e2000034. doi:10.1002/syst.202000034.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-989E-A
Chemically fueled emulsions are solutions with droplets made of phase-separated molecules that are activated and deactivated by a chemical reaction cycle. These emulsions play a crucial role in biology as a class of membrane-less organelles. Moreover, theoretical studies show that droplets in these emulsions can evolve to the same size or spontaneously self-divide when fuel is abundant. All of these exciting properties, i. e., emergence, decay, collective behavior, and self-division, are pivotal to the functioning of life. However, these theoretical predictions lack experimental systems to test them quantitively. Here, we describe the synthesis of synthetic emulsions formed by a fuel-driven chemical cycle, and we find a surprising new behavior, i. e., the dynamics of droplet growth is regulated by the kinetics of the fuel-driven reaction cycle. Consequently, the average volume of these droplets grows orders of magnitude faster compared to Ostwald ripening. Combining experiments and theory, we elucidate the underlying mechanism.