Method of Fluid Manipulation By Electrodewetting

Tech ID: 27230 / UC Case 2016-409-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel method that allows the manipulation of liquid droplets on a surface.


Electrode wetting on dielectric (EWOD) is a well-known effect that involves application of electric field to move or modify a fluid droplet. It is most commonly utilized in biomedical devices that require manipulation of small liquid volumes (on the order of 400nL). However, its main limitation is that it requires a hydrophobic surface. Since most synthesized or natural surfaces are hydrophilic, the dielectrics are coated with a hydrophobic material that often reduces the shelf life of the dielectric, is prone to failure and is costly.


UCLA researchers have developed a novel method termed electrode dewetting on dielectric (EDOD) that has the opposite effect of EWOD. It can be used to move or modify a fluid droplet much like EWOD but does not require a hydrophobic surface as EWOD does. The result is also opposite as it reduces the contact area (dewetting) between a liquid droplet and surface while EWOD increases the contact area (wetting) between liquid droplet and surface.


  • Biomedical devices such as on-chip synthesis, in vitro fertilization culturing, high-throughput PCR
  • Optical devices such as variable lens, electronic paper, video displays
  • Electronic devices such as variable capacitor, electronic switch
  • Mechanical instruments such as rheometer


  • Simple set up
  • Does not require permanent manipulation of the surface
  • Compatible with hydrophilic materials such as glass
  • Temporary changes that can be easily modified according to the requirements

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
European Patent Office Published Application 3405428 11/28/2018 2016-409

Additional Patent Pending


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  • Kim, Chang-Jin

Other Information


EWOD, dewetting, fluid manipulation

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