Researchers from the the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have developed a way to prevent water from freezing and forming into crystals, retaining its amorphous characteristics.
According to a report released by ethz.ch, the researchers led by Professors Raffaele Mezzenga and Ehud Landau have identified an unusual way to retain water’s characteristics even at extreme sub-zero temperatures though a synthesized lipid.
The synthetic fat molecule called lipidic mesophase “spontaneously self-assemble and aggregate to form membranes, behaving in a similar way as natural fat molecules.”
The membranes will then form a network of connected channels measuring less than a nanometer wide where there will be no room for water to form ice crystals. The lipids do not freeze as well.
The scientists then tested the method and came up with a “glassy” water but not frozen even with 10 degrees above the absolute zero temperature.
“Our research is paving the way for future projects to determine how proteins might be preserved in their original form and interact with lipid membranes at very low temperatures,” said Zurich professor Raffaele Mezzenga.
(Photo source: ethz.ch)