Navigation Links
UMass Amherst polymer scientists jam nanoparticles, trapping liquids in useful shapes
Date:10/24/2013

AMHERST, Mass. Sharp observation by doctoral student Mengmeng Cui in Thomas Russell's polymer science and engineering laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently led her to discover how to kinetically trap and control one liquid within another, locking and separating them in a stable system over long periods, with the ability to tailor and manipulate the shapes and flow characteristics of each.

Russell, her advisor, points out that the advance holds promise for a wide range of different applications including in drug delivery, biosensing, fluidics, photovoltaics, encapsulation and bicontinuous media for energy applications and separations media.

He says, "It's very, very neat. We've tricked the system into remaining absolutely fixed, trapped in a certain state for as long as we like. Now we can take a material and encapsulate it in a droplet in an unusual shape for a very long time. Any system where I can have co-continuous materials and I can do things independently in both oil and water is interesting and potentially valuable."

Cui, with Russell and his colleague, synthetic chemist Todd Emrick, report their findings in the current issue of Science.

Russell's lab has long been interested in jamming phenomena and kinetically trapped materials, he says. When Cui noticed something unusual in routine experiments, rather than ignore it and start again she decided to investigate further. "This discovery is really a tribute to Cui's observational skills," Russell notes, "that she recognized this could be of importance."

Specifically, the polymer scientists applied an electric field to a system with two liquids to overcome the weak force that stabilizes nanoparticle assemblies at interfaces. Under the influence of the external field, a spherical drop changes shape to an ellipsoid with increased surface area, so it has many more nanoparticles attached to its surface.

When the external field is released, the higher number of surface nanoparticles jam the liquid system, stopping nanoparticle movement like Friday afternoon gridlock on an exit ramp or sand grains stuck in an hourglass, Russell explains. In its jammed state, the nanoparticle-covered droplet retains its ellipsoid shape and still carries many more nanoparticles on its surface, disordered and liquid-like, than it could as a simple spherical drop. This new shape can be permanently fixed. Cui, Russell and Emrick also accomplished the jamming using a mechanical method, stirring.

By generating these jammed nanoparticle surfactants at interfaces, fluid drops of arbitrary shape and size can be stabilized opening applications in fluidics, encapsulation and bicontinuous media for energy applications. Further stabilization is realized by replacing monofunctional ligands with difunctional ones that cross-link the assemblies, the authors note. The ability to generate and stabilize liquids with a prescribed shape poses opportunities for reactive liquid systems, packaging, delivery and storage.


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. UMass Amherst polymer scientists, physicists develop new way to shape thin gel sheets
2. UMass Amherst, Harvard experts say better systems needed for medical device cybersecurity
3. Seahorse Bioscience Launches First Product from the Partnership with Baystate Medical Center and UMass Amherst
4. UMass Boston Receives $1 Million Grant to Recruit Urban Nurse Leaders
5. Sanofi Forms Partnership with UMass Boston with $1 Million Support of Student Success Program for STEM Education
6. New England Biolabs Introduces Polbase, an Information Repository of Scientific Data for Polymerase Researchers
7. Fabrication method can affect the use of block copolymer thin films
8. Bio-inspired polymer synthesis enhances structure control
9. DNA2.0 Patents Key Method for Synthesizing Bioplastic Polymer
10. Plasmonic chains act like polymers
11. New England Biolabs Develops Novel Polymerase with Ultra-High Fidelity and Minimal GC Bias
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Liquid Biotech USA , Inc. ... Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ("PENN") ... patients.  The funding will be used to assess ... outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety of ... to support the design of a therapeutic, decision-making ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona ... or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the ... are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):