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 Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters
13.07.2018 | Brown University

nachricht 3D-Printing: Support structures to prevent vibrations in post-processing of thin-walled parts
12.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>