Bio-nano-fluidics: From butterfly proboscis to artificial probes
Proboscis is a flexible fiber serving as a feeding device for almost 160,000 species of butterflies and moths. The proboscis can be considered as a flexible micro and nanofluidic device with extraordinary ability to probe, deliver, and sense different fluids. The proboscis evolution, organization and functionality are poorly understood, though its materials and fluid engineering design is attractive especially for making artificial probes. Using X-ray phase contrast imaging, high speed optical imaging and magnetic probes we were able to discover complex mechanisms of food intake and proboscis self-cleaning. Theoretical studies of wettability of complex shaped proboscises allowed us to understand the role of surface morphology in fluid handling by these insects. Taking advantage of natural fluidic devices, we designed and produced flexible fiber-based probes for analysis of minute amount of fluids. Some bioengineering applications of fiber-based probes for cell analysis will be shown.
Dr. Kostya Kornev is Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Clemson University, SC. His Micro and Nanofluidics Systems research group is actively working on fiber-based nanofluidics. Dr. Kornev graduated with a PhD degree in Physics & Mathematics from Kazan State University (KSU) in Russia in 1988. From 1988 until 1990, he worked at the Institute of Mechanics and Mathematics at KSU. In 1990 he has been invited to join the Institute for Problems in Mechanics, RAS in Moscow, the leading institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the field of mechanics. While at RAS, he was an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Aircraft Technology. In 2000, he joined the Textile Research Institute in Princeton, NJ. He moved to Clemson University in 2006. Dr. Kornev's research interests include: biomechanics of insect feeding, wetting and capillary phenomena, magnetic phenomena in nanocomposites, optical and magneto-optical effects, and interactions of strong electromagnetic fields with materials.