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Publication Detail
Bio-electrosprays: from bio-analytics to a generic tool for the health sciences.
Electrosprays or electrospraying is a process by which an aerosol is generated between two charged electrodes. This aerosol generation methodology has been known for well over a century, and has undergone exploration in aerosol and materials sciences, to many other areas of research and development. In one such exploration, electrosprays were partnered with mass spectrometry for the accurate characterisation of molecules. This technology now widely referred to as electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI MS) significantly contributes to molecular analysis and cancer biology to name a few. In fact these findings were recognised by the Chemistry Nobel Committee in 2002, and have catapulted electrosprays to many areas of research and development. In this review, the author wishes to introduce and discuss another such recent discovery, where electrosprays have been investigated for directly handling living cells and whole organisms. Over the past few years these electrosprays now referred to as "bio-electrosprays" have undergone rigorous developmental studies both in terms of understanding all the associate physical, chemical and biological sciences for completely assessing their effects, if any on the direct handling of living biological materials. Therefore, the review will bring together all the work that has contributed to fully understanding that bio-electrosprays are an inert technology for directly handling living biological materials, while elucidating some unique features they possess over competing technologies. Hence, demonstrating this approach as a flexible methodology for a wide range of applications spanning bio-analytics, diagnostics to the possible creation of synthetic tissues, for repairing and replacing damaged/ageing tissues, to the targeted and controlled delivery of personalised medicine through experimental and/or medical cells and/or genes. Therefore, elucidating the far reaching ramifications bio-electrosprays have to our health sciences and well-being.
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