Microbubbles loaded with nanoparticles: a route to multiple imaging modalities

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Entry by Angelo Mao, AP 225, Fall 2010

Title: Microbubbles loaded with nanoparticles: a route to multiple imaging modalities

Authors: Park J, et al.

Journal: ACS Nano, 4(11) pp 6579-6586

Year: 2010

Summary

The researchers developed a method using microfluidics to create bubbles coated with nanoparticles that were stable for a long period of time and had low polydispersity.

soft matter keywords: bubbles, foam, pressure, surface tension

Description

Figure 1. Depiction of how bubbles are generated.

The researchers used a microfluidic-centered approach to generating bubbles. A combination of carbon dioxide and insoluble gasses were flowed into a microfluidic channel. The production of bubbles arose from carbon dioxide's solubility in water, which followed Henry's law:

<math>[CO_2]_f = k_H P_{CO_2}</math>

Here, <math>[CO_2]_f</math> was the concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide, <math>k_H</math> was Henry's law constant and depended on the pH at which the reactions were occurring, and <math>P_{CO_2}</math> was the gas pressure. After these bubbles were created, because of the dissolution of carbon dioxide into bicarbonate <math>(HCO_3^-)</math>, the perimeter of the bubble was negatively charged. This induced the attraction and adherence of positively charged lysozyme molecules. These then attracted and were surrounded by negatively charged nanoparticles. The researchers tested several nanoparticles, including <math>Fe_2O_3</math>.