Ice in Microfluidics

Ice in Microfluidics

From Dr. Ran Drori, Postdoctoral Associate, Chemistry Department, New York University

 

Field of Research: Biophysics

 

Image Caption: Ice crystals in a microfluidic device. This image was taken in 2014 as part of a research project on ice-binding proteins in Professor Ido Braslavsky’s lab at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

 

Biophysics is an exciting interdisciplinary field that applies the laws and approaches of physics to biological phenomena. This important area of study has contributed vastly to our knowledge about how the body works. For example, our understanding of the cardiovascular system, blood pressure in particular, is based on pioneering work in biophysics.

This image highlights a beautiful aspect of biophysics research – a visualization of how ice-binding proteins adsorb to ice and inhibit its growth. It shows microscopic ice crystals inside microfluidic channels (100-150 micrometers wide) and it was taken when the temperature was quickly reduced to reveal dendrite crystal growth.

Ice-binding proteins interact with ice and change the growth of ice crystals. These proteins are found in a variety of organisms that have adapted to survive cold environments, including fish, insects, plants, fungi and bacteria. The results from this study revealed key elements on how ice-binding proteins adsorb to ice and inhibit its growth.

Learn more about Dr. Drori’s research:

Drori R., Celik Y., P. L. Davies, and I. Braslavsky. J. R. Soc. Interface (2014)
Drori, R., P. L. Davies, and I. Braslavsky. RSC Advances (2015)
Drori, R., P. L. Davies, and I. Braslavsky. Langmuir (2015)

 

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