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 significant impacts on the Earth’s climate and human health.

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

Therefore, the ability to more precisely control the movement of aerosols is of crucial importance for pharmaceutical sciences and climate research. Aerosol science is also an important aspect in many industries, from automotive to food processing.

Now scientists have published a study describing a breakthrough device – a new impact jet aerosol sprayer – that is relatively inexpensive to build and operate.

“We have created a unique, stationary, gas-focused impact jet that uses no electricity,” says lead author Sankar Raju Narayanasamy, PhD, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an affiliated researcher at Berkeley Lab and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

“This development is a significant achievement that may have a wide range of applications,” says Narayanasamy, who led the research as a BioXFEL grantee, a US National Science Foundation-funded research consortium led by the University at Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute Buffalo (HWI) and partner institutions.

Martin Trebbin, PhD, SUNY Empire Innovation Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, is a co-corresponding author on the study.

He says that “fine monodisperse aerosols with controlled sizes are useful in instrumentation of sample environments, such as in mass spectrometry, X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs), and cryo-electron microscopy used to probe bio-macromolecules for structure analysis.” and drug discovery.”

Trebbin, who says the research is a “major achievement in fluid dynamics and microfluidics,” is a core faculty member at the UB RENEW Institute and holds a position at the BioXFEL Science and Technology Center.

The technology is described in a study titled “A sui generis whipping instability-based self-sequencing multi-monodisperse 2D sprays from an anistropic microfluidic liquid jet device” published Jan. 11 in the journal Cell Press Cell Reports Physical Science.

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

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

Over the past 20 years, scientists have tried many ways to precisely control the movement of aerosols, such as piezoelectric actuators or local heating. However, the application of these techniques is limited because they tend to alter the samples that scientists study with the aerosols. This applies in particular to 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 related to fluid flow — has played in their work.

This includes explaining the devices’ “beam diameter, beating regime and propagation angle,” says Ramakrishna Vasireddi, PhD, co-first author and research scientist at SOLEIL, the French synchrotron facility in Paris.

He adds: “The phenomenon will be further characterized experimentally by measuring the angle related to the flow velocity, the distances between the drops, the drop shapes and the reproducibility of these parameters.”

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

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

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