Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vortex rings may aid cell delivery, cell-free protein production

15.08.2016

Some of the world's most important discoveries - penicillin, vulcanized rubber and Velcro, to name a few - were made by accident. In fact, it's been said that upward of half of all scientific discoveries are by chance.

Add vortex ring freezing to that long list of "accidents."


A microscopic image of doughnut-shaped microparticles, made from silica nanoparticles through vortex ring freezing. This work is detailed in a paper published on Aug. 4 in Nature Communications.

Credit: Duo An/Cornell University

Duo An, a doctoral student in the labs of both professor Dan Luo and assistant professor Minglin Ma, in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, was an undergraduate from China doing an internship at Cornell when he stumbled upon a phenomenon that has the potential to greatly improve cell-free protein production and cell delivery, particularly for Type 1 diabetes patients.

A group headed by Luo and Ma has published the paper, "Mass production of shaped particles through vortex ring freezing," which was released online Aug. 4 in Nature Communications. An is lead author.

Vortex rings are ubiquitous in nature - a mushroom cloud of smoke is one example - and the ring's evolution exhibits a rich spectrum of complicated geometries, from spherical to teardrop to toroidal (doughnut-shaped). The researchers used these features to control and mass produce inorganic and organic particles via an electrospraying process, whereby a multitude of vortex ring-derived particles (VRPs) can be produced, then frozen at precise time points. The group reported they could produce 15,000 rings per minute via electrospraying.

They found controlling the shape and speed of the spray, as well as the speed of the chemical reaction, can yield different structures.

"We can tune both of these timescales, and control at which stage we can freeze the structure, to get the results we want," An said.

While working in Luo's lab during a summer internship, An was making nanoclay hydrogels - injecting one solution into another to create a gel. But for this particular procedure, instead of direct injection, he dripped one solution into another. When the first solution entered the second, it created vortex-ring particles.

It wasn't until two years later, while working in Ma's lab, that he recalled the vortex rings he'd created and wondered if that concept could be applied to Ma's work with microcapsules and cell therapy. The Ma lab focuses on cell delivery for Type 1 diabetes patients.

Ma admitted that the concept of using a doughnut-shaped encapsulation hadn't occurred to him, but made perfect sense.

"We knew the concept that a doughnut shape is better, but we never thought of making it until we saw it [from An]," Ma said.

An advantage of the doughnut-shape encapsulation over a spherical-shaped one is shorter diffusion distance - the distance the encapsulated particle must travel to escape the capsule - while at the same time maintaining a relatively large surface area.

This concept could pave the way for other as-yet-unknown applications of vortex ring freezing, according to Luo.

"Our hope is that this type of material in these shapes can be used much more extensively in other labs for whatever they're trying to do," he said. "There is a whole field devoted to just particles, but by default, they are all thinking in terms of spherical particles. Hopefully, this will add to that field of study."

Ma, who earlier this year won a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award for his work on juvenile diabetes, cited the work of collaborators Ashim Datta, professor of biological and environmental engineering, and Paul Steen, the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Engineering in the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Datta's lab did the simulation work, and Steen's group provided key theoretical input.

"Their contributions put this work on much more solid ground," Ma said. "We now better understand the mechanism behind it, and can more purposefully design these particles in the future."

###

Other collaborators included graduate students Alex Warning, Kenneth Yancey, Chun-Ti Chang and Vanessa Kern.

This work was supported by grants from the American Diabetes Association, the SUNY Research Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The research made use of the Cornell Center for Materials Research Shared Facilities, which are supported by the NSF.

Tom Fleischman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
01.12.2016 | Waseda University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>