National Physical Laboratory

Bubbles: Sensors for the micro-world

Project dates: 1 Apr 2010 – 31 Dec 2014

 

Expancel spheres aggregating at the nodes of the acoustical field

Expancel spheres aggregating at the nodes of the acoustical field

 

A preliminary simulation of a bubble moving in an acoustical field

This proposal aims to build the key knowledge necessary to exploit the application of micro-bubbles in measuring externally applied fields (electro-magnetic, acoustic) within bio- and nano- devices, determining ultimately their effectiveness. To achieve this goal we will build an innovative manipulation tool based on the simultaneous and interchangeable use of acoustical and optical tweezers. This facility will be capable of positioning microbubbles of known size within 3D structures of light and sound, which then allows calibration under different external forces.

Figure 1: Simulated EM field under high order Laguerre-Gaussian beam excitation around a deformed Lipid micro-bubble

Figure 1: Simulated EM field under high order Laguerre-Gaussian beam excitation around a deformed Lipid micro-bubble. The arrows indicate the direction of forces exerted on the bubble shown.

Manipulation of microbubbles in a 300-micron microchannel using acoustical forces

A 6 micron microbubble manipulated by laser light


NPL staff involved with the project

Figure 2: Representation of the grid used for the ANSYS simulation of a bubble subject to pressure gradients
Figure 2: Representation of the grid used for
the ANSYS simulation of a bubble subject
to pressure gradients

Gianluca Memoli
Bajram Zeqiri
Mark Hodnett
Pierre Gélat
Jian Wang
Louise Wright
Ian Smith
Sue Dowson

Collaborations

Visiting researchers

Conferences and Presentations

  • Jul 2013: C. Fury, P. N. Gélat, C. J. Harfield, P. H. Jones, E. P. J. Stride, G. Memoli, Experimental verification of the finite element modelling of acoustic microchannels, submitted to IEEE annual conference (July 2013)
  • Jul 2013: C. Harfield, E. J. Stride, P.H. Jones, G. Memoli, Investigating the Sensitivity of Microbubble Acoustic Response for Biosensing Applications, submitted to the 2013 ICA conference in Montreal.
  • Mar 2013: At The Big Bang Science Fair, London, about 9,000 of the 68,000 visitors visited the stand during the four days of its duration.
  • Mar 2013: G. Memoli gave a second TEDx talk about the project.
  • Jan 2013: NPL acquires a high-speed video camera (max. 330,000,000 frames per second) that will be used in the project.
  • Jan 2013: C J Harfield , N C Ovenden, G Memoli, P H Jones and E P J Stride, Theoretical characterisation of the radial and translational motion of coated microbubbles under acoustic excitation, accepted in IOP Conference Series.
  • Jan 2013: C. Fury, G. Memoli, P. N. Gélat, C. Harfield, P. H. Jones, E. J. Stride, Characterisation of a microfluidic chip for acoustic trapping of microbubbles, presented at Anglo-French Physical Acoustics Conference (Frejus, January 2013) and invited for publication on IOP Conference Series.
  • Jan 2013: C. Harfield, C. Fury, P. H. Jones, E. Stride, G. Memoli, Investigating the Sensitivity of Microbubbles for Biosensing Applications, presented to the 2013 European Symposium on Contrast Agents (Rotterdam, January 2013).
  • Nov 2012: G. Memoli gave a TEDx talk outlining the project.
  • Oct 2012: G. Memoli, C. Fury, C. Harfield, P.H. Jones, E. Stride, Optical manipulation of microbubbles in presence of acoustical fields, presented by G. Memoli at the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium in Dresden.
  • Aug 2012: S. E. Skelton, M. Sergides, G. Memoli, O. M. Maragò and P. H. Jones. 'Optical squeezing of microbubbles: Ray optics and Mie scattering calculations', Proceedings of SPIE 2012, San Diego
  • Jul 2012: S. E. Skelton, M. Sergides, G. Memoli, O. M. Maragò and P. H. Jones. 'Trapping and deformation of microbubbles in a dual-beam fibre optic trap', Journal of Optics 14 075706 (2012)
  • Jul 2012: P.D. Desai, G. Memoli, D. Kuvshinov and W. Zimmerman, Ultrasound mediated microbubble generation, presented by P.D. Desai at Microbubble Symposium in Leeds
  • Apr 2012: Caroline Harfield and Gianluca Memoli presented at the acoustic manipulation workshop in Leiden, Lorentz Center.
  • Jan 2012: C. Harfield presents her findings at Anglo-French Physical Acoustic Conference in Brighton
  • Dec 2011: Christmas lecture at the University of Kent
  • Oct 2011: Invited lecture at the University of Cambridge
  • Jul 2011: Poster at the Microbubble Symposium in Leeds. C. Harfield was awarded a prize from the organisers.
  • Jul 2011: Bubble User Group (BUG) meetings at NPL
  • Apr 2011: Bubble User Group (BUG) meetings at University College London (UCL)
  • Jan 2011: Presentation during the visit at NPL of the Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Jan 2011: European Symposium on Ultrasonic Contrast Agents (Rotterdam, 19-21 January).
  • Dec 2010: Invited lecture at the Open University
  • Apr 2010: 'Bubbles and Encapsulation Symposium' at University College London
Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2012

Further opportunities

Last Updated: 14 Jan 2015
Created: 22 Feb 2012

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