Our blood, sweat and tears are three precious fluids that can answer lots of questions about the state of our health but testing small amounts of bodily fluids, without contaminating them through contact with solid surfaces or other fluids, is something that fluid mechanics have long pondered.
A group of physicists from the University of Liege, Belgium, is publishing research in the New Journal of Physics today, Tuesday, 18 November, which shows how lab technicians can make droplets dance, float and bounce above a surface, keeping small amounts of fluid free of contamination and ripe for testing.
Several years ago, acoustic levitation was introduced to keep a droplet separate from its surroundings but the equipment required for this is complex, big and expensive. Alternatively, the technique of bouncing droplets was introduced in 2005 but until now it could only be used on a specific range of droplets with high viscosity.
The new technique which the physicists began work on three years ago, when one of the researchers noticed that certain bass notes emanating from his iPod speaker could make droplets ‘roll’ and appear to dance, works for a much larger range of viscosity fluids than previous techniques and also for a larger range of droplet size – making it much more useful for chemists, biologists and food scientists.
The technique is simple and does not require complex machinery – droplets can be released over a bath of oil that is vertically shaken and under certain conditions of vibration and droplet size, droplets will bounce, float and dance.
As the researchers write, “In the miniaturisation age, the manipulation of tiny quantities of liquid becomes more and more important in chemistry, biology, health sciences and the food industry. The technique we propose allows the manipulation of droplets without any contact with another liquid or solid. The droplets bounce, float and move into the air.”
Joe Winters | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...