Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Novel ORNL technique enables air-stable water droplet networks
by Staff Writers
Oak Ridge TN (SPX) May 16, 2014


Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a method to create air-stable water droplet networks that are valuable for applications in biological sensing and membrane research. Image credit: Kyle Kuykendall.

A simple new technique to form interlocking beads of water in ambient conditions could prove valuable for applications in biological sensing, membrane research and harvesting water from fog. Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a method to create air-stable water droplet networks known as droplet interface bilayers.

These interconnected water droplets have many roles in biological research because their interfaces simulate cell membranes. Cumbersome fabrication methods, however, have limited their use.

"The way they've been made since their inception is that two water droplets are formed in an oil bath then brought together while they're submerged in oil," said ORNL's Pat Collier, who led the team's study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Otherwise they would just pop like soap bubbles."

Instead of injecting water droplets into an oil bath, the ORNL research team experimented with placing the droplets on a superhydrophobic surface infused with a coating of oil. The droplets aligned side by side without merging.

To the researchers' surprise, they were also able to form non-coalescing water droplet networks without including lipids in the water solution. Scientists typically incorporate phospholipids into the water mixture, which leads to the formation of an interlocking lipid bilayer between the water droplets.

"When you have those lipids at the interfaces of the water drops, it's well known that they won't coalesce because the interfaces join together and form a stable bilayer," ORNL coauthor Jonathan Boreyko said. "So our surprise was that even without lipids in the system, the pure water droplets on an oil-infused surface in air still don't coalesce together."

The team's research revealed how the unexpected effect is caused by a thin oil film that is squeezed between the pure water droplets as they come together, preventing the droplets from merging into one. Watch a video of the process on ORNL's YouTube channel.

With or without the addition of lipids, the team's technique offers new insight for a host of applications. Controlling the behavior of pure water droplets on oil-infused surfaces is key to developing dew- or fog-harvesting technology as well as more efficient condensers, for instance.

"Our finding of this non-coalescence phenomenon will shed light on these droplet-droplet interactions that can occur on oil-infused systems," Boreyko said.

The ability to create membrane-like water droplet networks by adding lipids leads to a different set of functional applications, Collier noted.

"These bilayers can be used in anything from synthetic biology to creating circuits to bio-sensing applications," he said. "For example, we could make a bio-battery or a signaling network by stringing some of these droplets together. Or, we could use it to sense the presence of airborne molecules."

The team's study also demonstrated ways to control the performance and lifetime of the water droplets by manipulating oil viscosity and temperature and humidity levels.

Coauthors include ORNL's Georgios Polizos and Panos Datskos, and the University of Tennessee's Stephen Sarles. The researchers have filed an invention disclosure on their technique.

This research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is sponsored at ORNL by the Scientific User Facilities Division in DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Funding was also provided by an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Basic Research Initiative grant and the SunShot Initiative within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

.


Related Links
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Eight dead, hundreds ill from 'tainted water' in Philippines
Alamada, Philippines (AFP) May 14, 2014
Health officials are testing for cholera and other diseases after eight people died and hundreds more fell ill in a remote area in the Philippines, possibly from contaminated water, authorities said Wednesday. Most of the victims are children from the southern town of Alamada who suffered from diarrhoea, Lyndon Lee Suy, head of the government agency's infectious disease unit, told AFP. " ... read more


WATER WORLD
UN peacekeepers 'should use force more often': report

Solomons police out in force after rioting

Films inspired by missing flight MH370 touted at Cannes

Japan publisher to review Fukushima nosebleed comic

WATER WORLD
Glasses-free 3-D projector

Electrons hurtle into the interior of a new class of quantum materials

'Wolfenstein' videogame a Nazi-fighting adventure

The Tallest Skyscrapers Currently Under Construction

WATER WORLD
Colorado River reaches Sea of Cortez for first time nearly two decades

Novel ORNL technique enables air-stable water droplet networks

Ban condemns water cuts in Syria's Aleppo

Research reveals New Zealand sea lion is a relative newcomer

WATER WORLD
Ice mission and extreme camping

West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable

A Slow Collapse As West Antarctic Melts

Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations

WATER WORLD
Madagascar unleashes poisoned rain to break locust plague

Asian consortium lifts bid for Australian food manufacturer

EU tackles massive food wasting 'best before' labelling

Corn dwarfed by temperature dip suitable for growing in caves, mines

WATER WORLD
Balkans floods trigger Bosnia's worst exodus since war

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes off Indonesia: USGS

Toll mounts as thousands in Serbia, Bosnia flee historic floods

Dangerous storms peaking further north, south than in past

WATER WORLD
Norway pledges South Sudan aid ahead of donor conference

Boko Haram in fresh attack as region meets on strategy

Nigerian military a tricky partner for West on hostage search

Two Malian soldiers killed, 40 injured in crash

WATER WORLD
Preschool teacher depression linked to behavioral problems in children

US military opens door to gender treatment for Manning

Longevity gene may boost brain power

Rocks lining Peruvian desert pointed to ancient fairgrounds




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.