Interactions between Liquid Metal Droplets and Bacterial, Fungal, and Mammalian Cells

Cheeseman, Samuel, Elbourne, Aaron, Gangadoo, Sheeana, Shaw, Z.L., Bryant, Saffron J., Syed, Nitu, Dickey, Michael D., Higgins, Michael J., Vasilev, Krasimir, McConville, Chris F., Christofferson, Andrew J., Crawford, Russell J., Daeneke, Torben, Chapman, James, and Truong, Vi Khanh (2022) Interactions between Liquid Metal Droplets and Bacterial, Fungal, and Mammalian Cells. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 9 (7). 2102113.

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Liquid metals (LMs) have emerged as novel materials for biomedical applications. Here, the interactions taking place between cells and LMs are reported, presenting a unique opportunity to explore and understand the LM-biological interface. Several high-resolution imaging techniques are used to characterize the interaction between droplets of gallium LM and bacterial, fungal, and mammalian cells. Adhesive interactions between cells and LM droplets are observed, causing deformation of the LM droplet surface, resulting in surface wrinkling and in some cases, breakage of the native oxide layer present on the LM droplet surface. In many instances, the cell wall deforms to intimately contact the LM droplets. Single-cell force spectroscopy is performed to quantify the adhesion forces between cells and LM and characterize the nature of the adhesion. It is proposed that the flexible nature of the cell enables multiple adhesion sites with the LM droplets, imparting tensile forces on the LM droplet surface, which results in surface wrinkling on the LM droplets due to their liquid nature. Molecular dynamics simulations also suggest that flexible biomolecules on the cell surface can disrupt the Ga2O3 layer formed at the LM droplet surface. This study reveals a unique biointerfacial interaction and provides insights into the mechanisms involved.

Item ID: 77009
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2196-7350
Keywords: biointerface, cell interactions, cells, gallium, liquid metal
Copyright Information: © 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE190100100
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2023 04:43
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3206 Medical biotechnology > 320699 Medical biotechnology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
40 ENGINEERING > 4003 Biomedical engineering > 400302 Biomaterials @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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