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Biology/Chemistry question

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,
Here is a biology/chemistry question I was wondering about:

Say I wanted to puncture and burst liposomes or a small bilayer membranes with a microscopic needle/s, what would you suggest to make the needles from, or how would you assort them so they will burst the liposomes as efficiently as possible?

Thanks,
P.
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Question by:pixiepowder
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11 Comments
 
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by:nickg5
ID: 35036985
A new method to study lipid bilayers is Atomic force microscopy (AFM).
Rather than using a beam of light or particles,

a very small sharpened tip scans the surface by making physical contact with the bilayer and moving across it, like a record player needle. <<<<<<<

source: wikipedia

www.linkinghib mentions a 25 guage needle:
The release was characterized with an initial liposome burst, .... Microspheres of this size range are either s.c. or i.m. injectable through a 25-gauge needle
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Author Comment

by:pixiepowder
ID: 35037269
Hi Nick,
Thanks, I know about AFM, it is an impressive method.
But I am not interested in studying but quite the contrary, to destroy by touch.
Any thoughts there?
P.
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LVL 17

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by:Tiras25
ID: 35038326
Glass is interesting in that if you melt it and pull it like taffy it can be thinned to micron size.  And it will keep its cross sectional shape.  That is how they make glass micropipettes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microinjection 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1328684/ 

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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 35039113
Have you tried steel probes yet?  They're as small as 0.1mm, which is almost half the diameter of a 34ga needle.
http://www.tedpella.com/dissect_html/picks.htm#_13560


Tungsten manipulator as small as 6 micron:
http://www.tedpella.com/dissect_html/picks.htm#_13570

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by:pixiepowder
ID: 35039935
would a prick of a glass micro-needle puncture a membrane or tear it?
tear is what I am aiming for. I was thinking more to the detergent decorated sting.
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by:nickg5
ID: 35307165
have you completed your task on this?
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nickg5 earned 250 total points
ID: 36414777
Your most recent comment was:
"would a prick of a glass micro-needle puncture a membrane or tear it?
tear is what I am aiming for. I was thinking more to the detergent decorated sting."


Here is part of an article and being PDF I can not copy the link.
I'll highlight the part that references micro needle and tears.

Living cells have been explored by a variety of methods.
Abundant information comes from micromanipulation.. Robert Chambers made
the study that certain cells had the ability to heal wounds or
repair tears in their plasma membrane that were deliberately inflicted by microneedles, provided that calcium was present.

So, in conclusion, yes, microneedles can be used for membrane tears.
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by:vop
vop earned 250 total points
ID: 36457227
Electroporation, the application of an extrememly brief pulses of a large electric, would do it. The field has to be of sufficient strength to impose approximately 1 volt across a typical bilayer membrane. The smaller the liposome or cell, the stronger the field needs to be. We're talking of the order of about a kilovolt per millimetre for mammalian cells.



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by:James Murrell
ID: 36591753
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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