University of Groningen professor Patrick Onck, together with colleagues from Eindhoven University of Technology, have shown that this is possible by using a technique named mechanowetting.
'We have come up with a way of transporting droplets by using transverse surface waves.
The idea of mechanowetting is basically very simple: put a droplet on a transverse surface wave, and the droplet will move with the wave.
'The remarkable thing about this is that it also works on inclined or vertical surfaces: drops can even move upwards against gravity.'
Edwin de Jong, PhD candidate in Onck's group and first author of the paper, tested the concept of mechanowetting by means of a computer model.
'When it seemed to work in theory, our colleagues from Eindhoven University of Technology devised an experiment to test it.