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Unravelling the Acoustic and Thermal Responses of Perfluorocarbon Liquid Droplets Stabilized with Cellulose Nanofibers

Ghorbani, Morteza, Olofsson, Karl, Benjamins, Jan-Willem, Loskutova, Ksenia, Paulraj, Thomas, Wiklund, Martin, Grishenkov, Dmitry, Svagan, Anna J.
Langmuir 2019 v.35 no.40 pp. 13090-13099
acoustics, cellulose nanofibers, droplets, emulsions, foaming, foams, microbubbles, perfluorocarbons, temperature, ultrasonics, ultrasonography, volatilization
The attractive colloidal and physicochemical properties of cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) at interfaces have recently been exploited in the facile production of a number of environmentally benign materials, e.g. foams, emulsions, and capsules. Herein, these unique properties are exploited in a new type of CNF-stabilized perfluoropentane droplets produced via a straightforward and simple mixing protocol. Droplets with a comparatively narrow size distribution (ca. 1–5 μm in diameter) were fabricated, and their potential in the acoustic droplet vaporization process was evaluated. For this, the particle-stabilized droplets were assessed in three independent experimental examinations, namely temperature, acoustic, and ultrasonic standing wave tests. During the acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV) process, droplets were converted to gas-filled microbubbles, offering enhanced visualization by ultrasound. The acoustic pressure threshold of about 0.62 MPa was identified for the cellulose-stabilized droplets. A phase transition temperature of about 22 °C was observed, at which a significant fraction of larger droplets (above ca. 3 μm in diameter) were converted into bubbles, whereas a large part of the population of smaller droplets were stable up to higher temperatures (temperatures up to 45 °C tested). Moreover, under ultrasound standing wave conditions, droplets were relocated to antinodes demonstrating the behavior associated with the negative contrast particles. The combined results make the CNF-stabilized droplets interesting in cell-droplet interaction experiments and ultrasound imaging.