Navigation Links
Engineers whip up the first long-lived nanoscale bubbles

Cambridge, Mass. -- May 29, 2008 -- With the aid of kitchen mixers, engineers at Harvards School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have whipped up, for the first time, permanent nanoscale bubbles bubbles that endure for more than a year from batches of foam made from a mixture of glucose syrup, sucrose stearate, and water. Their study appears in the May 30 issue of the journal Science.

The research, led by Howard A. Stone, had its origins in a conference talk on foams delivered by Dr. Rodney Bee, a retired Unilever physical chemist, in 2005. Bee, who had been researching ice cream for the food, beverage, and personal-care product company, was interested in finding ways to extend the life of foams and other gas-infused mixtures like ice cream. He had produced an unusual bubble formation in the course of his research, and he included a photograph of it in the presentation.

Stone, Vicky Joseph Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics and associate dean for applied physical sciences and engineering, was in the audience when Bee projected an image of a micrometer-size bubble with a distinctive polygonal geometry. The bubble surface appeared to be faceted with regular pentagonal, hexagonal, and heptagonal domains that intersected to form a soccer ball-like structure. None of the faces spanned more than 50 nanometers.

Small bubbles on that scale never last because of surface tension they instantly disappear. What Rodney showed on that screen was extraordinary, said Stone. It was impossible; we all thought it was impossible.

Smaller bubbles have a greater surface tension and a higher gas pressure than larger ones. As a result, larger bubbles usually grow at the expense of smaller ones, which have very short lifetimes.

I asked him how he created his foams, and he said he used an ordinary kitchen mixer. The next day I went out and bought a kitchen mixer for the lab, explained Stone.

The experimental study, conducted by SEAS graduate student Emilie Dressaire in collaboration with Unilever colleagues, revealed that when the bubbles were covered with the chosen surfactant mixture, the surfactant molecules crystallized to form nearly impermeable shells over the bubble surfaces.

The resulting shells possessed an elasticity that allowed them to buckle over time into a remarkably regular and stable pattern. Measurements of the microbubbles stability extended over more than a year, and the structural integrity of the bubbles held for the entire period.

The authors note that future applications of these microbubbles could significantly extend the lifetimes of common gas-liquid products that experience rapid disintegration, such as aerated personal-care products and contrast agents for ultrasound imaging.


Contact: Michael Patrick Rutter
Harvard University

Related biology technology :

1. Engineers demonstrate first room-temperature semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz radiation
2. Nanowires may boost solar cell efficiency, UC San Diego engineers say
3. Engineers harness cell phone technology for use in medical imaging
4. Engineers make first active matrix display using nanowires
5. Surface dislocation nucleation: Strength is but skin deep at the nanoscale, Penn engineers discover
6. Cardiff University engineers give industry a moths eye view
7. Harvard University engineers demonstrate quantum cascade laser nanoantenna
8. Penn engineers design computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
9. Penn engineers design computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
10. First Taxane-Based Non-Anthracycline Containing Chemotherapy in Combination With Herceptin (TCH) for HER2 Positive Early Breast Cancer Patients Obtains Approval From the FDA
11. Genmab Announces 2008 First Quarter Results
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Engineers whip up the first long-lived nanoscale bubbles
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the ... today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both ... physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , ... industrial engineering, was today awarded as one of ... of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks ... for the real world in the nutrition, health ... work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):