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Title:Particle Dance Floor
Author(s):Kumar, Subhalakshmi
Subject(s):Materials Science and Engineering
Abstract:Navigating a crowded dance floor is just like a particles journey within a cell; both require complex science and great artistry. Whilst humans rely on our senses to move through crowds, particles 10000 times smaller than a human hair move randomly among obstacles, in bursts of caged transport. At the molecular level, particles bump and jostle and diffuse randomly to the rhythm of thermal energy. The crowding elements also fluctuate randomly, but to a different beat because they are usually of dissimilar size. This makes the space between dancing bodies ever-changing and spontaneous. My graduate research aims to uncover the nature of single-particle motion on this molecular dance floor which is important for future design of advanced materials, in drug delivery and cellular biology. I use fluorescence microscope to visualize the dynamics of thousands of 140 nanometer latex particles within a labyrinth of long and intertwined polymer molecules. The image shows their trajectories over a minute; each particle undergoes cycles of obstruction until it escapes and moves a short distance. The movement of particles at times 0s (dark blue), 10s (blue), 20s (green), 30s (yellow), 40s (orange), 50s (red) to 60s (maroon) makes this piece of obstruct expressionism.
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Subhalakshmi Kumar
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-20

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