Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Construct Tiny, Floating 'Eyeballs,' 'Billiard Balls' On Microchip

Date:
January 26, 2005
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
North Carolina State University chemical engineers have discovered a way to construct new microscopic devices that can act like tiny factories for materials with potential for a wide variety of chemical and biological uses.

One of the anisotropic “eyeball” particles created by NC State researchers.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University chemical engineers have discovered a way to construct new microscopic devices that can act like tiny factories for materials with potential for a wide variety of chemical and biological uses.

Related Articles


The NC State researchers, advised by Dr. Orlin Velev, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, include undergraduate student Jeffrey R. Millman and graduate students Ketan H. Bhatt and Brian G. Prevo. They created different types of tiny particles that could eventually be used in everything from drug delivery to determinations of the presence or concentration of biological molecules.

Some types of new particles look like microscopic eyeballs, but are really made of tiny particles of gold and latex. Others look like billiard balls, but are slivers of gold, silica and colored latex beads.

The research is published in the January edition of Nature Materials.

“We’re looking at scaling down microfabrication by making special microfluidic chips that can serve as microscopic factories,” Velev says. “All sorts of particulate materials – electrically conductive, magnetic, polymer, metallic, fluorescent – can be combined for special high-tech applications.”

In 2003, Velev and his students published in the journal Nature a technique to control the movement of microscopic droplets of liquid freely floating across centimeter-sized chips packed with electrodes. The breakthrough came as the researchers learned how to circumvent friction by suspending the droplets of water inside fluorinated oil, and then applying electrical voltages to make the liquid hover over the electrical circuits of the chip. Switching the chip’s electrodes on and off – either manually or with the aid of a computer – lets researchers move the droplets across the oil surface to any location on the chip.

In the current research, the NC State scientists create anisotropic particles, or particles with different layers or properties, on the microfluidic chip. The droplets contain tiny amounts of different materials, like gold and latex, along with a small amount of water; the scientists combine them and allow them to dry. The dried particles take on the look of eyeballs, with the gold slivers making a dark dot inside the latex white of the eye.

In the billiard-ball particles, tiny pieces of gold, silica microspheres, yellow latex beads and water resemble something similar to a yellow-and-white striped nine-ball in billiards after drying, with the latex beads clustering at the top of the particle, the gold slivers forming a stripe of brown in the middle of the particle, and the silica microspheres congregating at the bottom of the particle. Similar striped particles were formed from tiny gold slivers, red latex beads and silica microspheres.

“The eyeball and striped particles could be used in electronic paper and as barcoded tags in biological and environmental research,” Velev says, “as well as in advanced drug delivery and targeted therapeutics.”

The research is funded by Velev’s National Science Foundation Career Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Researchers Construct Tiny, Floating 'Eyeballs,' 'Billiard Balls' On Microchip." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050123212331.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2005, January 26). Researchers Construct Tiny, Floating 'Eyeballs,' 'Billiard Balls' On Microchip. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050123212331.htm
North Carolina State University. "Researchers Construct Tiny, Floating 'Eyeballs,' 'Billiard Balls' On Microchip." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050123212331.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins