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 Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump
14.11.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Automated adhesive film placement and stringer integration for aircraft manufacture
14.11.2018 | Fraunhofer IFAM

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>