Chapter 15

Microvolumetric Droplets in Air in Hypergravity Conditions

Ágota Simon, Alexandru Stoicu, Tatiana Tozar, Ionuț Relu Andrei, Săndel Simion, Jack J. W. A. van Loon, Alan Dowson and Mihail Lucian Pascu


The interaction of laser modified medicine solutions with hydrophilic and hydrophobic target surfaces has been investigated under the effect of simulated hypergravity conditions, employing the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) facility, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). Experiments have been performed within the HyperMed project under the aegis of the ESA “Spin Your Thesis!” 2015 programme. During centrifugation, real-time video files have been recorded regarding generation of ultrapure water, unexposed and laser exposed chlorpromazine aqueous pendant droplets, followed by their detachment due to the exerted high gravitational accelerations and finally by the formation of sessile droplets on target surfaces. In this way, information about the volume of the generated droplet, the degree of wetting and its time evolution at different hypergravity levels has been obtained. Phenothiazine solutions irradiated with UV laser radiation indicate reduced surface tension, thus presenting better wetting properties. Target surfaces impregnated with medicine solutions may constitute an unconventional tool and even vector in developing new drug delivery systems. Such a wetting process under high g-level conditions may be useful in space medicine applications. Microorganisms can survive, grow and even proliferate under the effect of increased gravity. Therefore, upon launching of a spacecraft, during a long-term mission in microgravity conditions, astronauts and spacecraft surfaces may require treatment and decontamination, respectively, against onboard infectious microbes. Since non-terrestrial gravity may alter drug properties, medicine droplets behaviour in interaction with target surfaces under hypergravity conditions is the aim of the present study.

Total Pages: 428-445 (18)

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