Invention could benefit pharmaceutical, automotive, food processing, carbon capture and other industries — ScienceDaily

Invention could benefit pharmaceutical, automotive, food processing, carbon capture and other industries — ScienceDaily

Aerosols are tiny particles that can have a significant impact on Earth’s climate and human health.

For example, these droplets can reflect incoming sunlight back into outer space, helping to cool a warming planet. Or they can be used to deliver drugs to the lungs, especially to treat respiratory diseases.

Therefore, the ability to more precisely control how aerosols move is of vital importance to pharmaceutical sciences and climate research. Aerosol science is also a key aspect of many industries, from automobiles to food processing.

Now, scientists have published a study describing an innovative device, a new whip-jet aerosol sprayer, that is relatively inexpensive to build and operate.

“We have created a unique, steady-state, gas-focused whip jet that uses no electricity,” says lead author Sankar Raju Narayanasamy, PhD, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a research affiliate at Berkeley Lab and SLAC. National Accelerator Laboratory.

“This development is an important feat that may have a wide range of applications,” says Narayanasamy, who conducted the research as a fellow with BioXFEL, a research consortium funded by the US National Science Foundation and led by the Institute. Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Center at the University at Buffalo (HWI) and associated institutions.

Martin Trebbin, PhD, SUNY Empire Innovation assistant professor of chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, is a co-author of the study.

He says that “fine monodisperse aerosols with controlled sizes are useful in instrumentation of the sample environment, such as in mass spectrometry, X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs), and cryoelectron microscopy, which are used to study biomacromolecules for structural purposes”. drug discovery and analysis.

Trebbin, who calls the research a “major achievement in fluid dynamics and microfluidics,” is a senior faculty member at the UB RENEW Institute, and has an appointment at the BioXFEL Center for Science and Technology.

The technology is described in a study titled “A sui generis self-sequencing multi-monodisperse 2D sprays based on the instability of an anisotropic microfluidic liquid jet device,” which was published January 11 in the journal Cell Press. Cell Reports Physical Sciences.

The study marks a third-generation advance in liquid jet technology. Cylindrical liquid jets came first in 1998, and flat liquid sheet jets followed in 2018.

The new whipping jet is the first of its kind because it produces homogeneous droplets in a two-dimensional profile, says co-corresponding author Hoi-Ying N. Holman, PhD, director of the Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology imaging program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. . .

In the last 20 years, scientists have tried many ways, such as piezoelectric activation or local heating, to precisely control the movement of aerosols. The use of these techniques, however, is limited because they tend to alter the samples that scientists are using to study aerosols. This is especially true with biological samples.

In the study, the researchers discuss the important role that analytical fluid dynamics, a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis and data structures to analyze and solve problems involving fluid flows, played in their work. .

This includes accounting for the “jet diameter, beat rate, and expansion angle” of the devices, says Ramakrishna Vasireddi, PhD, co-author and research scientist at SOLEIL, the French synchrotron facility in Paris.

He adds: “The phenomenon is further characterized experimentally by measuring angle with respect to flow rate, distances between droplets, droplet shapes, and the reproducibility of these parameters.”

In the study, the team also explains how to build such devices, which are relatively inexpensive.

This work was supported by the Group of Excellence “The Hamburg Center for Ultrafast Imaging – Structure, Dynamics and Control of Matter at the Atomic Scale” of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The work was performed through the Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology Imaging (BSISB) program, which is supported by the US Department of Energy. It was conducted under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

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