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 Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors
22.01.2018 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Let the good tubes roll
19.01.2018 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>