Effect of curvature on wetting and dewetting of proboscises of butterflies and moths.
ABSTRACT: Proboscises of butterflies are modelled as elliptical hollow fibres that can be bent into coils. The behaviour of coating films on such complex fibres is investigated to explain the remarkable ability of these insects to control liquid collection after dipping the proboscis into a flower or pressing and mopping it over a food source. By using a thin-film approximation with the air-liquid interface positioned almost parallel to the fibre surface, capillary pressure was estimated from the profile of the fibre surfaces supporting the films. The film is always unstable and the proboscis shape and movements have adaptive value in collecting fluid: coiling and bending of proboscises of butterflies and moths facilitate fluid collection. Some practical applications of this effect are discussed with regard to fibre engineering.
Project description:The proboscis of butterflies and moths consists of two C-shaped fibres, the galeae, which are united after the insect emerges from the pupa. We observed that proboscis self-assembly is facilitated by discharge of saliva. In contrast with vertebrate saliva, butterfly saliva is not slimy and is an almost inviscid, water-like fluid. Butterfly saliva, therefore, cannot offer any viscoelastic adhesiveness. We hypothesized that capillary forces are responsible for helping butterflies and moths pull and hold their galeae together while uniting them mechanically. Theoretical analysis supported by X-ray micro-computed tomography on columnar liquid bridges suggests that both concave and convex liquid bridges are able to pull the galeae together. Theoretical and experimental analyses of capillary forces acting on natural and artificial proboscises show that these forces are sufficiently high to hold the galeae together.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Chitosan (CS) and polycaprolactone (PCL) were added into a nerve scaffold of poly(L-lactide acid) (PLLA)/polypyrrole (PPy)-based fibre films to solve the unmatch with the nerve strength and the aseptic inflammation from PLLA. METHODS:Poly (L-lactide acid)-polycaprolactone (PLLA/PCL) fibre films coated with chitosan (CS) and polypyrrole (PPy) were prepared by electrospinning of aligned PLLA/PCL fibres, electrochemical deposition of PPy nanoparticles and in situ doping of CS in PPy. PC12 cells were electrically stimulated with 100 mV for 2 hours every day via CS/PPy-PLLA/PCL fibre film to promote the neurite growth. RESULTS:The surface conductivity and tensile strength of CS/PPy-PLLA/PCL fibre films were 1.03 s/m and 13 MPa, respectively. CS content in fibre films was about 7.5 mg/cm2 , improving the pH value (reached to 5.1) of immersion solution of the fibre film at 16 days. Compared with PPy-PLLA/PCL fibre film, more and longer axons were grown out from PC12 cells cultured on CS/PPy-PLLA/PCL fibre film, indicating the positive effect of CS in fibre film on axon growth. The cell differentiation rate and neurite length on CS/PPy-PLLA/PCL fibre film reached to 38% and 75 ?m, respectively. These results suggest the promotion of electrical stimulation on neurite growth and alignment. CONCLUSIONS:A synergistic mechanism about the promotion of CS, electrical stimulation and aligned fibres on PC12 cells differentiation, axon outgrowth was proposed. These results indicated the potential application of CS/PPy-PLLA/PCL fibre film in the field of the nerve repair and regeneration.
Project description:This research concerns the development of Surlyn film reinforced with micro-/nanofibrillated celluloses (MFC) for use as an encapsulant in organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of fibre types and the mixing methods on the structure-properties of the composite films. Three types of cellulose micro/nanofibrils were prepared: the as-received MFC, the dispersed MFC and the esterified MFC. The fibres were mixed with Surlyn via an extrusion process, using two different mixing methods. It was found that the extent of fibre disintegration and tensile modulus of the composite films prepared by the master-batching process was superior to that of the composite system prepared by the direct mixing method. Using the esterified MFC as a reinforcement, compatibility between polymer and the fibre increased, accompanied with the improvement of the percentage elongation of the Surlyn composite film. The percentage of light transmittance of the Surlyn/MFC films was above 88, regardless of the fibre types and fibre concentrations. The water vapour transmission rate of the Surlyn/esterified MFC film was 65% lower than that of the neat Surlyn film. This contributed to the longer lifetime of the OPV encapsulated with the Surlyn/esterified MFC film.
Project description:Integration of conductive materials into optical fibres can largely expand functions of fibre devices including surface plasmon resonator/metamaterial, modulators/detectors, or biosensors. Some early attempts have been made to incorporate metals such as tin into fibres during the fibre drawing process. Due to the restricted range of materials that have compatible melting temperatures with that of silica glass, the methods to incorporate metals along the length of the fibres are very challenging. Moreover, metals are nontransparent with strong light absorption, which causes high fibre loss. This article demonstrates a novel but simple method for creating transparent conductive reduced graphene oxide film onto microstructured silica fibres for potential optoelectronic applications. The strongly confined evanescent field of the suspended core fibres with only 2 μW average power was creatively used to transform graphene oxide into reduced graphene oxide with negligible additional loss. Existence of reduced graphene oxide was confirmed by their characteristic Raman signals, shifting of their fluorescence peaks as well as largely decreased resistance of the bulk GO film after laser beam exposure.
Project description:Preparations of dermal collagenous fibres and slices of human dermis have been equilibrated with 125I-labelled monomeric human serum albumin. The space inaccessible to the albumin in the fibres and in the dermis was determined by subtraction of the accessible space, calculated from the radioactivity of the specimen, from its total fluid. For a fibre preparation examined in detail, the fluid exclusion was independent of the concentration of either albumin or collagen. Binding of albumin to the fibres was not demonstrable. Three fibre preparations excluded albumin from 3.75 +/- 0.96, 3.55 +/- 0.67, and 2.05 +/- 0.39 g of fluid/g of collagen (+/-S.D.). Slices from three specimens of dermis excluded albumin from 1.45 +/- 0.08 g of fluid/g of insoluble solids or 1.57 +/- 0.11 g of fluid/g of collagen (+/-S.D.). Thus the exclusion of albumin by dermis was much less than expected from its content of collagenous fibres. On the basis of these data and the published composition of dermis, the concentration of albumin in the accessible interstitial space was estimated to be close to that in the plasma.
Project description:Velvet worms eject a fluid capture slime that can be mechanically drawn into stiff biopolymeric fibres. Remarkably, these fibres can be dissolved by extended exposure to water, and new regenerated fibres can be drawn from the dissolved fibre solution-indicating a fully recyclable process. Here, we perform a multiscale structural and compositional investigation of this reversible fabrication process with the velvet worm Euperipatoides rowelli, revealing that biopolymeric fibre assembly is facilitated via mono-disperse lipid-protein nanoglobules. Shear forces cause nanoglobules to self-assemble into nano- and microfibrils, which can be drawn into macroscopic fibres with a protein-enriched core and lipid-rich coating. Fibre dissolution in water leads to re-formation of nanoglobules, suggesting that this dynamic supramolecular assembly of mechanoresponsive protein-building blocks is mediated by reversible non-covalent interactions. These findings offer important mechanistic insights into the role of mechanochemical processes in bio-fibre formation, providing potential avenues for sustainable material fabrication processes.Velvet worms expel a fluid slime that, under shear force, forms stiff fibres that can be dissolved and then regenerated. Here, the authors reveal that the recyclability of these biopolymers relies on mechanoresponsive lipid-protein nanoglobules in the slime that reversibly self-assemble into fibrils.
Project description:Bio-composites based on polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and fibres of Posidonia oceanica (PO) were investigated to assess their processability by extrusion, mechanical properties, and potential biodegradability in a natural marine environment. PHAs were successfully compounded with PO fibres up to 20 wt % while, at 30 wt % of fibres, the addition of 10 wt % of polyethylene glycol (PEG 400) was necessary to improve their processability. Thermal, rheological, mechanical, and morphological characterizations of the developed composites were conducted and the degradation of composite films in a natural marine habitat was evaluated in a mesocosm by weight loss measure during an incubation period of six months. The addition of PO fibres led to an increase in stiffness of the composites with tensile modulus values about 80% higher for composites with 30 wt % fibre (2.3 GPa) compared to unfilled material (1.24 GPa). Furthermore, the impact energy markedly increased with the addition of the PO fibres, from 1.63 (unfilled material) to 3.8 kJ/m² for the composites with 30 wt % PO. The rate of degradation was markedly influenced by seawater temperature and significantly promoted by the presence of PO fibres leading to the total degradation of the film with 30 wt % PO in less than six months. The obtained results showed that the developed composites can be suitable to manufacture items usable in marine environments, for example, in natural engineering interventions, and represent an interesting valorisation of the PO fibrous wastes accumulated in large amounts on coastal beaches.
Project description:We investigated the effect of cyclic chain topology on the molecular ordering and thermal stability of comb-shaped polypeptoid thin films on silicon (Si) substrates. Cyclic and linear poly(N-decylglycine) (PNDG) bearing long n-decyl side chains were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of N-decylglycine-derived N-carboxyanhydrides. When the spin-coated thin films were subjected to thermal annealing at temperatures above the melting temperature (T > T m), the cyclic PNDG films exhibited significantly enhanced stability against melt-induced dewetting than the linear counterparts (l-PNDG). When recrystallized at temperatures below the crystallization temperature (T < T c), the homogeneous c-PNDG films exhibit enhanced crystalline ordering relative to the macroscopically dewetted l-PNDG films. Both cyclic and linear PNDG molecules adopt cis-amide conformations in the crystalline film, which transition into trans-amide conformations upon melting. A top-down solvent leaching treatment of both l/c-PNDG films revealed the formation of an irreversibly physisorbed monolayer with similar thickness (ca. 3 nm) on the Si substrate. The physisorbed monolayers are more disordered relative to the respective thicker crystalline films for both cyclic and linear PNDGs. Upon heating above T m, the adsorbed c-PNDG chains adopt trans-amide backbone conformation identical with the free c-PNDG molecules in the molten film. By contrast, the backbone conformations of l-PNDG chains in the adsorbed layers are notably different from those of the free chains in the molten film. We postulate that the conformational disparity between the chains in the physically adsorbed layers versus the free chains in the molten film is an important factor to account for the difference in the thermal stability of PNDG thin films. These findings highlight the use of cyclic chain topology to suppress the melt-induced dewetting in polymer thin films.
Project description:Wetting and dewetting are both fundamental modes of motion of liquids on solid surfaces. They are critically important for processes in biology, chemistry, and engineering, such as drying, coating, and lubrication. However, recent progress in wetting, which has led to new fields such as superhydrophobicity and liquid marbles, has not been matched by dewetting. A significant problem has been the inability to study the model system of a uniform film dewetting from a nonwetting surface to a single macroscopic droplet-a barrier that does not exist for the reverse wetting process of a droplet spreading into a film. We report the dewetting of a dielectrophoresis-induced film into a single equilibrium droplet. The emergent picture of the full dewetting dynamics is of an initial regime, where a liquid rim recedes at constant speed and constant dynamic contact angle, followed by a relatively short exponential relaxation of a spherical cap shape. This sharply contrasts with the reverse wetting process, where a spreading droplet follows a smooth sequence of spherical cap shapes. Complementary numerical simulations and a hydrodynamic model reveal a local dewetting mechanism driven by the equilibrium contact angle, where contact line slip dominates the dewetting dynamics. Our conclusions can be used to understand a wide variety of processes involving liquid dewetting, such as drop rebound, condensation, and evaporation. In overcoming the barrier to studying single film-to-droplet dewetting, our results provide new approaches to fluid manipulation and uses of dewetting, such as inducing films of prescribed initial shapes and slip-controlled liquid retraction.
Project description:Spin dewetting refers to spontaneous rupture of the dispensed solution layer during spin coating, resulting in isolated but periodic, regular sized domains of the solute and is pre-dominant when the solute concentration (C n ) is very low. In this article we report how the morphology of liquid crystal (LC) 5CB thin films coated on flat and patterned PMMA substrate transform from spin dewetted droplets to continuous films with increase in C n . We further show that within the spin dewetted regime, with gradual increase in the solute concentration, periodicity of the isotropic droplets (? D ) as well as their mean diameter (d D ), gradually decreases, till the film becomes continuous at a critical concentration (C n *). Interestingly, the trend that ? D reduces with increase in C n is exact opposite to what is observed in thermal/solvent vapor induced dewetting of a thin film. The spin dewetted droplets exhibit transient Radial texture, in contrast to Schlieren texture observed in elongated threads and continuous films of 5CB, which remains in the Nematic phase at room temperature. Finally we show that by casting the film on a grating patterned substrate it becomes possible to align the spin dewetted droplets along the contours substrate patterns.