Experiment with natural nanomaterials - nanotechnology


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n this experiment you will analyse some innovative materials that are highly water repellent, stainless and require less cleaning thanks to their surface nano-engineering. Those materials have been developed using nature as an inspiration, since some plant leaves have exceptional properties due to their surface composition.

The property you will analyse is the superhydrophobic effect found in some leaves, such as the lotus leaf. The effect is due to interplay of surface chemistry and surface topography at the micro- and nano-level. Download the documents below to carry out the experiment and watch the information videos available below.

Translations to several languages are also availabe in the NANOYOU website.

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Experiment with natural nanomaterials - nanotechnology

  1. 1. Teachers Training Kit in Nanotechnologies Experiment Module A comprehensive training kit for teachers Experiment A Luisa Filipponi, iNANO, Aarhus University This document has been created in the context of the NANOYOU project. (WP4, Task 4.1) All information is provided “as is” and no guarantee or warranty is given that the information is fit for any particular purpose. The user thereof uses the information at its sole risk and liability. The document reflects solely the views of its authors. The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
  2. 2. Before you use this presentation This Power Point Presentation is part of the Experiment Module of the NANOYOU Teachers Training Kit in Nanotechnologies. MATERIAL INCLUDED IN THIS EXPERIMENT A PACKAGE : For teacher: EXPERIMENT A-TEACHER DOCUMENT For students * : EXPERIMENT A-STUDENT BACKGROUND READING EXPERIMENT A-STUDENT LABORATORY WORKSHEET   LEVEL OF EXPERIMENT : Simple *These documents are available for the 11-13 and 14-18 age group in different languages DOCUMENTS CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.NANOYOU.EU This NANOYOU documents is distributed with Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike Attribution, except where indicated differently. Please not that some images contained in this PPT are copyright protected, and to re-use them outside this document requires permission from original copyright holder. See slide 14 for details. DISCLAIMER : The experiments described in the following training kit use chemicals which need to be used according to MSDS specifications and according to specific school safety rules. Personal protection must be taken as indicated. As with all chemicals, use precautions. Solids should not be inhaled and contact with skin, eyes or clothing should be avoided. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. Dispose as indicated. All experiments must be conducted in the presence of an educator trained for science teaching. All experiments will be carried out at your own risk. Aarhus University (iNANO) and the entire NANOYOU consortium assume no liability for damage or consequential losses sustained as a result of the carrying out of the experiments described.
  3. 3. EXPERIMENT A AGE LEVEL: 11-13 AND 14-18 YEARS <ul><li>Natural Nanomaterials </li></ul>
  4. 4. Experiment A- Natural Nanomaterials Fundamental concept of nanoscience <ul><li>Nanoscience is in Nature </li></ul><ul><li>We have many examples of nanoscience under our eyes daily . One such example is colloids </li></ul><ul><li>A colloid is another type of chemical mixture where one substance is dispersed evenly throughout another one but the particles of the dispersed substance are only suspended in the mixture , they are not completely dissolved in it (unlike solutions ). </li></ul><ul><li>Generally speaking, a colloid is composed of particles in the range of 10-300nm . They are small enough to be dispersed evenly and maintain a homogenous appearance, but large enough to scatter light . </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of natural colloids are milk and gelatine . </li></ul>1
  5. 5. Experiment A- Testing natural colloids <ul><li>Milk and gelatine are two natural nanomaterials (colloids). </li></ul><ul><li>Students can easily test this by shining a laser light through a gelatine and diluted milk sample (Tyndall effect) </li></ul><ul><li>Light scattering in milk determines its colour. </li></ul><ul><li>HOW IS THIS “NANO”? </li></ul><ul><li>Colloids contain nanoparticles (10-300 nm in size) </li></ul><ul><li>AFM analysis of gelatine has revealed the presence of spherical nanosctructures about 260 nm in diameter </li></ul>Figure 1 . Testing a gelatin sample with a laser pen. (Image credit: see slide 14) Figure 2. AFM images of a gelatine extracted from catfish revealing the presence of spherical nanostructures. (Image credit: see slide 14)
  6. 6. Experiment A- Natural Nanomaterials Fundamental concept of nanoscience <ul><li>Nanostructure means function & properties </li></ul><ul><li>Proteins in milk ( caseins ) are able to bind Ca 2+ through phosphate residues </li></ul><ul><li>Caseins self-assemble into nanostructures called casein micelles (50-300 nm in size) . </li></ul><ul><li>Casein micelles contain the caseins combined with calcium, phosphate and small amount of citrate . </li></ul><ul><li>The function of these micelles is to “entrap” calcium, which is then passed on to the offspring through feeding </li></ul>2
  7. 7. Experiment A- Natural Nanomaterials Fundamental concept of nanoscience <ul><li>Nanostructure means function & properties </li></ul><ul><li>The properties of milk depend on the molecular organization of casein micelles. The alteration of the molecular organization of caseins leads to thickening, precipitation and other effects. The appearance, taste and other “macro” properties of milk are deeply connected to its supra-molecular (nano) structure. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance addition of an acid (e.g., vinegar) to warm milk induces aggregation and formation of a curd. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 4 types of caseins ,  1 ,  2 ,  and k, they differ in amino acids sequence and in the location and amount of hydrophobic/hydrophilic regions </li></ul>2 Figure 3 . Casein milk nanostructure (Image credit: see slide 14)
  8. 8. Structure and function of casein micelles <ul><li>Casein micelles contain inorganic calcium phosphate , which exist in the form of small microcrystalline inclusions termed calcium nanoclusters (CCP) </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of linkages between caseins in the casein micelles have been postulated: </li></ul><ul><li>hydrophobic , where two or more hydrophobic regions from different molecules (  -caseins and  -caseins) form a bonded cluster. These are indicated as a rectangular bar in Figure; </li></ul><ul><li>hydrophilic charged regions containing phosphoserine clusters which bind to colloidal calcium phosphate nanoclusters (indicated as CCP in Figure ) </li></ul>Figure 4 . Dual bonding model in casein micelles, with a, b and k-casein depicted as indicated. (Image credit: see slide 14)
  9. 9. Structure and function of casein micelles Casein micelles have an intricate structure which is an interplay of hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. NB . Hydrophobic interactions are temperature dependent (stronger at elevated temperatures) Figure 5 . Casein milk nanostructure (Image credit: see slide 14)
  10. 10. Distruption of casein micelles integrity <ul><li>Maintenance of micellar integrity is a balancing act and numerous methods exist to disrupt this balance. </li></ul><ul><li>These methods are widely used in the diary industry to make cheese and fermented products like yogurt. </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increasing pH (to about 8) leads to casein micelles dissociation , and the effect is that heated milk becomes more translucent (micelle looses change neutraity, calcium is released) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pH to the isoelectric point (4.6) induces dissociation of the casein micelles (titration of the phosophoseryl and carboxyl groups in the proteins, no longer bind to calcium). Dissociation is temperature dependent . </li></ul></ul>Tested in this experiment Figure 6 Proposed model of casein milk nanostructure (Image credit: see slide 14)
  11. 11. Addition of vinegar to milk <ul><li>Vinegar is a source of acetic acid </li></ul><ul><li>Addition of vinegar lowers pH of milk (check using pH-meter) </li></ul><ul><li>Two tests in the lab: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heat milk to 60 °C and add vinegar : a curd is formed quickly. Why? Acidification causes micelles to dissociate (calcium phosphate is released from the micelle) and to aggregate due to increased electrostatic forces and increased hydrophobic interaction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add vinegar to cold milk : The milk will not agglomerate but only become a bit thicker . Why ? Casein micelles are stable due to an interplay of electrostatic and hydrophobic interaction. Acidification causes micelles to dissociate (calcium phosphate is released from the micelle) but the hydrophobic interactions maintain the stability of casein micelles in cold milk. </li></ul></ul>Analogy : milk left in fridge past expiring date (acid lactic)
  12. 12. What can this experiment teach about “nano”? <ul><li>Through this exercise students will learn two fundamental concepts : </li></ul><ul><li>Structure means appearance : materials in the “real” natural world, like milk, appear as they do because of fine nanostructures they posses. Milk is white because it contains colloidal nanoparticles (micelles). If we alter the structure of these micelles, we alter some “macro” properties of milk like colour and odour. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure means function: natural materials have very specific functions which are dictated by the fine supra-organization of their molecules (nanostructures). If we alter these, we can obtain a material with a new function. </li></ul><ul><li>In cheese production, altering the casein micelles through specific processes (e.g., chymosin treatment or lactic acid bacteria fermentation) leads to different products (cheese, yogurt etc.). This is a core concept of nanotechnologies : to engineer new materials with new functions from the manipulation of their molecular organization. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Running experiment A in class 1. Start with a discussion on natural nanomaterials . What are they? Let the students think of materials they know already and/or discuss examples such as gecko, butterflies, bones, or biological nanostructures such as DNA, ferritin, chlorophyll etc.   2. Discuss the relationship between structure and function . This can start from the macro-level (e.g., structure of a building to serve its function to resist a hearth wake) and move to the nanoscale.   3. Discuss with the students what they know about gelatine and milk . What happens when you heat them? Or cool them? What happens if milk is left in a fridge way past its expiring date?   4. Proceed with the experiment as outlined in the next experiment.   5. Conclude with a discussion on other natural colloids such as blood, custard, smoke. Nano is all around us!
  14. 14. Images credits Figure 1 : Testing a gelatin sample with a laser pen. (Image credit: L. Filipponi, iNANO, Aarhus University, Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike 3.0.) Figure 2 : AFM images of a gelatine extracted from catfish revealing the presence of spherical nanostructures. (Image credit: reprinted by permission of Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd from Yang et al., Journal of Food science (2006), 72(8), pp c430-c440, copyright (2006) Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Figure 3 left: Schematic structures of caseins and their polymers. Rectangles in the images represent hydrophobic regions. Reprinted from: Horne D.S., Inter. Dairy Journal (1998), 8 (3), 171-177, with permission from Elsevier. Figure 3 middle : Dual bonding model in casein micelles, with  ,  and k-casein depicted as indicated. Reprinted from: Horne D.S., Inter. Dairy Journal (1998), 8 (3), 171-177, with permission from Elsevier. Figure 3 right : AFM image of milk casein micelles. (Reprinted with permission from: Shekar et al., PNAS (May 23, 2006), vol. 103, no. 21, pp 8000-8005. Copyright 2006 National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.) Figure 4 : see Figure 3 middle Figure 5: see Figure 3 (left, middle and right) Figure 6 : See Figure 3 middle