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Copyright: UCT Prague 2017
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Welcome to Droplet Laboratory website!

The Droplet Laboratory was established by Jitka Čejková in 2017 as part of the Chemical Robotics Laboratory at Chemical Engineering Department (University of Chemistry and Technology Prague). Our research is focused on droplets, namely on life-like decanol droplets behavior and liquid marbles. Find out more about our research interests.

Want to join us?

We are always looking for motivated students at all levels – from 1st year undergraduate to PhD’s – to join our lab! Interested candidates, please apply directly to Jitka Čejková.

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Funding:

Czech Science Foundation

Project Registration No.

17-21696Y

Abstract:

Pattern formation in far from equilibrium systems is observed in several disciplines including biology and reaction-diffusion chemistry, comprising both living and non-living systems. We aim to study such non-equilibrium dynamics of a novel system based on a 1-decanol droplet placed in a solution of alkaline decanoate. Recently, we have found that when the system is open to the environment and the evaporation of water from decanoate solution occurs we observe dramatic morphological changes of the decanol droplet. Moreover in the presence of sodium chloride it shows a novel type of pattern formation, namely the formation of long tentacular structures that we aim to analyse within present project at both the macroscopic and microscopic scale across a large range of initial conditions.  Such reproducible morphological changes in simple droplets open a path for exploration of shape-based effects in larger scale pattern formation studies.

Start date:

2017-01-01

End date:

2019-12-31

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Head of the Droplet Laboratory

cejkova (ořez 215*215px)

Doc. Ing. Jitka Čejková, Ph.D.

Students 

 ◳ augustionova (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Adriana Augustínová

  • Bachelor student

 ◳ laura (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Laura Bábanová

  • Master student

 ◳ blahusek (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Vojtěch Blahušek

  • Master student
  • Bachelor thesis (2022): Experimental study of mechanical properties of liquid marbles

 ◳ nina (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Nina Nováková

  • Master student
  • Bachelor thesis (2022): Experimental study of the myelin figures growth

 ◳ eliska (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Eliška Pauliková

  • Bachelor student
 ◳ vaculik (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Jakub Vaculík

  • Master student
  • Bachelor thesis (2019): Experimental study of the effect of system composition on artificial chemotaxis of droplets

Alumni

 andoni (ořez 215*215px)

Andoni Aguirre

  • IAESTE student (Fall 2017)
linda (ořez 215*215px)

Linda Bondorf

  • IAESTE student (Fall 2018)
baris (ořez 215*215px)

Barış Çınar

  • Erasmus student (Winter 2018)
 ◳ cioban (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Ecaterina Laura Cioban

  • Erasmus student (Summer 2022)
 

Radek Chmelař

  • Bachelor thesis (2019): Use of artificial neural networks for description of behaviour of system of decanol droplets in decanoate solution
megan (ořez 215*215px)

Megan Jack

  • Erasmus student (Spring 2019)
  ◳ janska (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Petra Janská

  • Diploma thesis (2017): Synthesis and characterization of oil liquid marbles
  • Bachelor thesis (2014): Investigation of biologically triggered break-up of microparticles
 

Ilgın Karakoç

  • Master student (2018)
 ◳ keller (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Fillip Keller

  •  Bachelor student (2021)
maku2 (ořez 215*215px)

Markéta Kubiková

  • Master student (2021)
 ◳ mathis (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

Mathis Leemann

  • IAESTE student (Fall 2021)
 ◳ loustas (png) → (ořez 215*215px)

George Loustas

  • IAESTE student (Fall 2022)
 nikola (ořez 215*215px)

To Quyen Nguyenová 

  • Bachelor thesis (2015): Nebiologická chemotaxe - charakterizace systému dekanol-dekanoát-sůl
matej (ořez 215*215px)

Matěj Novák

  • Bachelor thesis (2014): Investigation of non-biological chemotaxis
 ◳ ioannis (jpg) → (ořez 215*215px)

Ioannis Pantazos

  • IAESTE student (Fall 2021)
 ondra (ořez 215*215px)

Ondřej Rychecký

  • Master thesis (2016): Cultivation of Spheroids in Liquid Marbles
adam (ořez 215*215px)

Adam Sikorják

  • Highschool student (Fall 2018)
 sara (ořez 215*215px)

Sara Patricia Ferreira Da Silva

  • Erasmus student (Fall 2016)
jana (ořez 215*215px)

Jana Steinhauserová

  • Master student (2019)
dominik (ořez 215*215px)

Dominik Švára

  • Master thesis (2018): Experimental study of decanol droplets pattern formation in electric field
  • Bachelor thesis (2016): Experimental study of decanol droplets pattern formation

Collaborators

 taisuke (ořez 215*215px)

Taisuke Banno

  • Department of Applied Chemistry, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan
martin (ořez 215*215px)

Martin M. Hanczyc

  • Laboratory for Artificial Biology, Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, Trento, Italy
 takashi (ořez 215*215px)

Takashi Ikegami

  • Department of General Systems Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan
 

Karin Schwarzenberger

  • TU Dresden
 kasper (ořez 215*215px)

Kasper Stoy

  • ITU Copenhagen, Denmark
ferry (ořez 215*215px)

František Štěpánek

  • Head of the Chemical Robotics Laboratory
  • UCT Prague
 shinpei (ořez 215*215px)

Shinpei Tanaka

  • Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Japan

*alphabetical order in all lists

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ROBOT100.cz

ROBOT 100

On the occasion of 100th anniversary of the word "robot", I published the book ROBOT 100 and organized a conference on artificial life ALIFE 2021 in Prague

cbrio (šířka 450px)

Chemobrionics

COST Action where we are involved in

chemaliforms (šířka 215px)

CHEMALIFORMS

Workshop at ALIFE 2019 Newcastle (UK) 29 Jul 2019 organized by Jitka Čejková, Richard Löffler and Geoff Cooper

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Publications

  1. Čejková J., Holler S., Löffler R., Witkowski O. (2022). Editorial Introduction to the 2021 Conference on Artificial Life Special Issue, Artificial Life 28 (4): 397–400.
  2. Čejková J. (2022). O Fakultě chemicko-inženýrské, Chemické listy 116(10), 574–580.
  3. Čejková J., Cartwright J. H. E. (2022). Chemobrionics and Systems Chemistry, ChemSystemsChem (Guest Editorial).
  4. McGachy L., Heyda J., Tomas J., Čejková J. (2021). Decanol Pattern Formation over a Sessile Aqueous Decanoate DropletColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 621, 126541.
  5. Becherová L., Prokopec V., Čejková J. (2021). Vibrational spectroscopic analysis of critical micelle concentration in sodium decanoate solutions, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 250, 119387.
  6. Cardoso S. S. S., Cartwright J. H. E., Čejková J., Cronin L., Wit A. D., Giannerini S., Horváth D., Rodrigues A., Russell M. J., Sainz-Díaz C. I., Tóth Á. (2020), Chemobrionics: From Self-assembled Material Architectures to the Origin of Life, Artificial Life 26(3), 315-326 (open access).
  7. Janská P., Rychecký O., Zadražil A., Štěpánek F., Čejková J. (2019), Liquid oil marbles: increasing the bio-availability of poorly water-soluble drugs, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 108(6), 2136-2142.
  8. Čejková J., Schwarzenberger K., Eckert K., Tanaka S. (2019), Dancing performance of organic droplets in aqueous surfactant solutions. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 566, 141-147.
  9. Čejková J., Hanczyc M.M., Štěpánek F. (2018), Multi-Armed Droplets as Shape-Changing Protocells, Artificial Life, 24 (1), 71-79.
  10. Čejková J., Banno T., Štěpánek F., Hanczyc M.M. (2017), Droplets as Liquid Robots, Artificial Life, 23 (4), 528-549 (open access).
  11. Čejková J., Rychecký O. (2017), Tekuté kuličky, Chemické listy 111, 109-114.
  12. Rychecký O., Majerská M., Král V., Štěpánek F., Čejková J. (2017), Spheroid cultivation of HT-29 carcinoma cell line in liquid marbles, Chemical Papers 71(6), 1055–1063.
  13. Čejková J., Štěpánek F., Hanczyc M. (2016), Evaporation-induced pattern formation of decanol droplets, Langmuir 32, 4800-4805.
  14. Čejková J., Novák M., Štěpánek F., Hanczyc M. (2014), Dynamics of chemotactic droplets in salt concentration gradients, Langmuir ,30(40), 11937–11944.
  15. Čejková J., Haufová P., Gorný D., Hanuš J., Štěpánek F. (2013), Biologically triggered liberation of sub-micron particles from alginate microcapsules, Journal of Materials Chemistry B 1, 5456-5461.
  16. Čejková J. (2013), Dictyostelium discoideum – model system not only for biologists, Chemické listy 107, 563-600.
  17. Čejková J., Štěpánek F. (2013), Compartmentalized and internally structured particles for drug delivery, Current Pharmaceutical Design 19(35), 6298-6314.
  18. Prokopec V., Kokaislová A., Čejková J., Dendisová M., Člupek M., Matějka P. (2011), Spectroscopic study of SERS- and SEIRA- activity of copper large-scaled surface substrates prepared by electrochemical deposition: what is the role of oxidation-reduction cycle treatment?, Journal of Molecular Structure 993, 410-419.
  19. Čejková J., Hanuš J., Štěpánek F. (2010), Investigation of internal microstructure and thermo-responsive properties of composite PNIPAM/silica microcapsules. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 346, 352-360.
  20. Ševčíková H., Čejková J., Krausová L., Přibyl M., Štěpánek F., Marek M. (2010) A new traveling wave pattern of Dictyostelium in the presence of cAMP in the agar. Physica D 239, 879-888.
  21. Čejková J., Prokopec V., Brázdová S., Kokaislová A., Matějka P., Štěpánek F. (2009), Characterization of copper SERS-active substrates prepared by electrochemical deposition. Applied Surface Science 255, 7864-7870.
  22. Kokaislová A., Brázdová S., Prokopec V., Člupek M., Čejková J., Matějka P. (2009), Příprava SERS-aktivních měděných substrátů katodickou redukcí a vyhodnocení jejich struktury pomocí mikroskopie atomárních sil. Chemické listy 103, 246-250.
  23. Hilgardt C., Čejková J., Hauser M. J. B., Ševčíková H. (2008), Streamless aggregation of Dictyostelium in the presence of isopropylidenadenosin. Biophysical Chemistry 132, 9-17.
  24. Prokopec V., Čejková J., Matějka P., Hasal P. (2008), Preparation of SERS-active substrates with large surface area for Raman spectral mapping and testing of their surface nanostructure. Surface and Interface Analysis 40, 601-607.

Book Chapters

Proceedings

(selected from over 40 papers)

  • Čejková J., Robots: The century past and the century ahead, an Introduction to the 2021 ALIFE conference, Artificial Life Conference Proceedings, MIT Press, 2021.
  • Čejková J., Ikegami T., Experimental study of mutual interactions of multiple liquid droplets, Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics, Kyoto (Japan), 31. 10. -1. 11. 2017, pp. 274-278 (2017).
  • Čejková J., Ikegami T., Štěpánek F., Life-like swarm behavior of multiple chemotactic droplets, Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Life 2017, Lyon (France), 4. – 9. 9. 2017, MIT Press, pp. 91-95 (2017).
  • Čejková J., Haufová P., Gorný D., Štěpánek F.: “Artificial spores” – hybrid alginate microcapsules with encapsulated yeast cells, Proceedings of the Twelfth European Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, Taormina (Italy), 2. -6. 9. 2013, MIT Press, pp. 818-823 (2013).
  • Čejková J., Štěpánek F.: Chobotix 2012: book of proceedings, Institute of Chemical Technology Prague, 2012, ISBN 978-80-7080-813-9 (editor).
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Welcome to Droplet Laboratory website!

The Droplet Laboratory was established by Jitka Čejková in 2017 as part of the Chemical Robotics Laboratory at Chemical Engineering Department (University of Chemistry and Technology Prague). Our research is focused on droplets, namely on life-like decanol droplets behavior and liquid marbles. Find out more about our research interests.

Want to join us?

We are always looking for motivated students at all levels – from 1st year undergraduate to PhD’s – to join our lab! Interested candidates, please apply directly to Jitka Čejková.

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Jitka Čejková

b
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague
Technická 3
166 28 Prague
Czechia

(see map)

e
+420 220 444460


jitka.cejkova@vscht.cz

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The annual Student scientific conference (SVK) took place at UCT Prague today and Eliška Paulíková won in the Applied informatics and cybernetics session! Congratulations! Áďa Augustínová, Vojta Blahušek and Nina Nováková also represented our group in an exemplary manner. Thank you all! Keep up your hard work and enthusiasm for science!

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The University of chemistry and technology Prague was also participating in the European Researchers Night this year . On 30 September 2022 from 5:00 p.m. the doors of scientific workplaces, universities, museums and other participating institutions were opened and visitors were allowed to see research presentations on the subject of All the Senses. This year, however, instead of showing her laboratory, Jitka presented "her" dog Ingo to the participants. The theme was "All the senses" and so she and the representatives of SVVP dog centre Jinonice showed how the guide dogs help the blind when they lack one sense. Jitka is training future guide dogs since 2021.
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On October 5 - 8, 2022, the teambuilding event "Běstvina 2022" took place for students of the 1st year of the Master's degree in Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. The event was attended by 32 students who stayed for three nights at the UCT Prague camp base in Běstvina and traveled by bus on the excursion every day. The program included a total of 6 industrial excursions (Škoda Auto, Synthesia, Kemwater ProChemie, Pardubice Brewery, wastewater treatment plant in Kutna Hora) and a block of presentations by representatives of the research groups of our department. The event was organized by Jitka Čejková.

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The University of Chemistry and Technology Prague celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. On this occasion, a paper (in Czech) by Jitka Čejková devoted to the Faculty of Chemical Engineering was prepared. First, the history of the faculty and the development of its departments is summarized. The faculty was established as the Faculty of Chemical Production, Automation and Economics in 1960 and it was renamed to the Faculty of Chemical Engineering in 1969. Further, the key scientists, teachers and deans are introduced and their contribution to the advancement of the faculty highlighted. The current offer of study programs (bachelor, master and doctoral) in both Czech and English is also listed.

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Today, we had a kick-off meeting of a new COST Action titled "Information, Coding, and Biological Function: the Dynamics of Life" in Brussels. Jitka Čejková was elected as the Work Group 4 leader and Science communication coordinator.

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On September 12-13, Jitka was invited to attended an exploratory workshop which was hosted at the  European Centre for LivingTechnology (ECLT) in Venice. The focus areas were: The creation and exploration of living and life-like materials  and The dynamics of systems for generalized health.

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COST Action Chemobrionics Pisa Meeting 2022 started today. Jitka and four students (Adriana Augustínová, Vojta Blahušek, Nina Nováková, Eliška Paulíková) attend this 3-day event full of interesting talks and discussions.

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Many congratulations to Nina Nováková for successfully defending her bachelor thesis titled “Experimental study of the myelin figures growth”. Thank you, Nina, for your work and looking forward to the furter collaboration!


Myelin figures are long, thin cylindrical structures that usually grow as a dense tangle when water is added to the concentrated lamellar phase of certain surfactants. In our laboratory, we observed the growth of these figures, on the contrary, when the water evaporates from the system. The aim of this bachelor thesis was to experimentally study myelin figures growing from a decanol droplet in the presence of an aqueous solution of sodium decanoate depending on the presence of different types of salts.

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It was our pleasure to host  Ecaterina Laura Cioban - Erasmus student from Romania. She spent several weeks in our laboratory working on liquid marbles. And now George Loustas - an IAESTE student from Greece - will continue his experiments with liquid marbles. 

 ◳ laura george (jpg) → (šířka 450px)

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Master's graduations took place on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. At the same time, the Betlemská Chapel hosted a ceremonial award with the medals of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering of three outstanding personalities who, with their scientific, pedagogical or organizational activities, contributed to the development of our faculty. Dean of the faculty prof. Michal Přibyl handed over the medal personally to doc. Pavel Chuchvalec from the Department of Physical Chemistry, doc. Jitka Čejková from the Department of Chemical Engineering and doc. Vladimír Scholtz from the Department of Physics and Measurement Technology.

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Many congratulations to Vojta Blahušek for successfully defending his bachelor thesis titled “Experimental study of mechanical properties of liquid marbles”. Thank you Vojta for your work and all the best for your future!

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Vojta poster

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Congratulations to Mathis Leeman, Nina Nováková and Vojta Blahušek for their great presentations at Student Scientific Conference SVK 2021. Today Mathis presented his results on chemical gardens, Nina on myelin figures and Vojta on liquid marbles. Well done, keep going!

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need

Our interanational student Mathis Leemann from Switzerland made a short film titled "Chemobrionics". This film had a world premiere today at the 25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in the section Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz.

The title of this 5-min length audio-visual chemobrionics related project is a quotation by Cicero and it was chosen with the aim to show, that in the same way as Roman garden was designed for thinking, philosophizing and discourse, the chemical gardens can also open the door to philosophical questions such as what life is and how it originated, how we distinguish the biological systems from their chemical counterparts. Our video focuses on showing the beauty of silicate chemical gardens composed of plant-like tubular structures made of metal salts placed in a water glass. The viewer is be puzzled by the hypnotic slow growth of the structures and the manifold of colors they can produce. Tiny aerial air bubbles, flowing inner solutions, thick and alien-like structures changing colors let the audience perplexed, dreamy, wondering why nature is presenting such delightful sight. Furthermore, extracts of Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann, The Origin of Life by John Desmond Bernal and Mechanism of life by Stéphane Leduc are added to deepen the experience. The inspiration for this audio background was taken from Julyan Cartwright’s works focused on the chemical gardens, their history and mentions in the literature.

  • Director and producer: Jitka Čejková
  • Editor: Mathis Leemann
  • Camera operator: Mathis Leemann, Jan Havlík
  • Experiments: Mathis Leemann, Jan Havlík, Saniya Ustunn
  • Voice: Declan Garvey
  • Music: Chopin - Raindrop Prelude (Op. 28 No. 15), performed by Petr Mazúr

This  film is based upon work from COST Action CA17120, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). COST is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives  across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

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Jan Spitzer, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Queen Elizabeth College at the University of London, has had a long career in chemistry and polymer science, as Associate Professor, and Research and Development Manager in synthetic latex industry. He is the author or coauthor of numerous peer-reviewed papers, technical articles, and book chapters. He studied University of Chemistry and Technology Prague and he visited after many years  his alma mater today. It was our honour to be his guide and get his recent book How Molecular Forces and Rotating Planets Create Life  - The Emergence and Evolution of Prokaryotic Cells.

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The International Society for Artificial Life announced the winners of the 2021 ISAL Awards. The awards were presented to recipients during the online 2021 Conference on Artificial Life organised in Prague. I am very honoured that one of the awards went to also to me!

Distinguished Early-Career Investigator Award - to recognize an individual who is early in their career, but has already made important contributions to the field of Artificial Life.

Alan Dorin said during the ceremony: "Jitka is a strong contributor to the ALife domain, both technically, and to the ALife community. This year, as you can see, she has done a fantastic job of organising a specially themed ALife conference, building on the 100th anniversary of the word "robot". She put together a fabulous book, soon to be released, of essays by a wide range of scientists, on the play RUR, and she is working hard behind the scenes to build links and bridges across the ALife community. On the technical side, she is prominent in chemical robotics, with exciting ways to apply to ALife. She applies minimal cognition principles to chemical robotics Her work has led to some creative droplet experiments, which have re-vitalized the "wet" ALife tradition."

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Contact

Jitka Čejková

b
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague
Technická 3
166 28 Prague
Czechia

(see map)

e
+420 220 444460


jitka.cejkova@vscht.cz

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