2015 International Polymer Colloids Group Conference

We are pleased to announce the 2015 International Polymer Colloids Group Conference to be held on June 28 – July 3, 2015 at The University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA.

The 2015 program will bring together world leading scientists to discuss the latest developments in the area of colloidal polymer science. The talks of the invited speakers will feature a balance of traditional and emerging applications for polymer colloids, following the themes of colloids for life, engineering colloids, and colloidal machines. You can see a list of confirmed speakers here.

You can register for the 2015 IPCG Conference here.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

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Nanoparticle Assembly: From Fundamentals to Applications, 7 – 9 January 2016

Nanoparticle Assembly: From Fundamentals to Applications

The upcoming Faraday Discussions meeting on Nanoparticle Assembly: From Fundamentals to Applications will be held in Mumbai, India on 7th – 9th January 2016. Sanat Kumar, Charusita Chakravarty and the rest of the Scientific Committee look forward to welcoming you to this exciting event.

Important Dates

Abstract submission is now OPEN, please submit your abstract here. The deadline for oral abstract submission is 20th April 2015. Make sure you submit your poster abstract by 26th October 2015.

Early bird registration closes on 16th November 2015. Why not register now?

For the full list of dates please follow the link.

Keynote Speakers

Confirmed speakers include Nicholas Kotov, Daan Frenkel, Jayant Singh and Andrea Tao. Take a look at the full list of invited speakers here. Soft Matter Chair, Michael Rubinstein, will conclude the meeting with his closing remarks. The full programme will be available to download here.

Themes

This Faraday Discussion will focus on the rapidly evolving field of nanoparticle (NP) self- and driven assembly, with a view to understanding how evolving developments in the fundamentals can be translated into science/property principles underpinning applications. The meeting will contain four themes:

  • Synthesis and Assembly of Nanoparticles and their Assemblies
  • Modelling and Theory
  • Nanocomposites
  • Applications to Soft Matter

For more information about this exciting event please head to the website.

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HOT Articles for April!

In situ laser-imprinted surface realignment of a nematic liquid crystal
Giorgio Mirri, Miha Škarabot and Igor Muševič

Graphical abstract: In situ laser-imprinted surface realignment of a nematic liquid crystal

Electrostatic swelling of bicontinuous cubic lipid phases
Arwen I. I. Tyler, Hanna M. G. Barriga, Edward S. Parsons, Nicola L. C. McCarthy, Oscar Ces, Robert V. Law, John M. Seddon and Nicholas J. Brooks

Graphical abstract: Electrostatic swelling of bicontinuous cubic lipid phases

These articles will be free until 28th  April 2015


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HOT Articles for March!

Phase separation in ternary fluid mixtures: a molecular dynamics study
Awaneesh Singh and Sanjay Puri

Graphical abstract: Phase separation in ternary fluid mixtures: a molecular dynamics study

Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers
Ye Yang, Lin Fu, Catherine Marcoux, Joshua E. S. Socolar, Patrick Charbonneau and Benjamin B. Yellen 

Graphical abstract: Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers
These articles will be free until 30th March 2015


Spider’s super-glue: thread anchors are composite adhesives with synergistic hierarchical organization
Jonas O. Wolff, Ingo Grawe, Marina Wirth, André Karstedt and Stanislav N. Gorb

Graphical abstract: Spider's super-glue: thread anchors are composite adhesives with synergistic hierarchical organization

Stretching self-entangled DNA molecules in elongational fields
C. Benjamin Renner and Patrick S. Doyle

Graphical abstract: Stretching self-entangled DNA molecules in elongational fields

These articles will be free until 6th April 2015


Smectic block copolymer thin films on corrugated substrates
Aldo D. Pezzutti, Leopoldo R. Gómez and Daniel A. Vega

Graphical abstract: Smectic block copolymer thin films on corrugated substrates

Solving the mystery of the internal structure of casein micelles
B. Ingham, G. D. Erlangga, A. Smialowska, N. M. Kirby, C. Wang, L. Matia-Merino, R. G. Haverkamp and A. J. Carr

Graphical abstract: Solving the mystery of the internal structure of casein micelles

These articles will be free until 6th April 2015


Flexibility and protection by design: imbricated hybrid microstructures of bio-inspired armor
Stephan Rudykh, Christine Ortiz and Mary C. Boyce

Graphical abstract: Flexibility and protection by design: imbricated hybrid microstructures of bio-inspired armor

Derivation of stretched exponential tap density equations of granular powders
Tian Hao

Graphical abstract: Derivation of stretched exponential tap density equations of granular powders

These articles will be free until 21st  April 2015


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Building Next-Generation Superplasticisers from Plant-Derived Lignin

Web writer Rob Woodward summarises a recent article from the journal

Superplasticisers are a class of materials used to inhibit aggregation in hydraulic cement, improving workability and reducing water requirements without sacrificing strength. Most superplasticisers are anionic polymer dispersants, such as the leading commercial products, polycarboxylate ethers. A low-cost alternative to this class of materials is provided by the plant-derived biopolymer lignin. Lignin is an abundant biopolymer as it is found in most land plants as a component in cell walls. However, Lignin-based substances are poorly performing plasticisers and attempts to significantly improve their properties by copolymerisation with synthetic monomers have thus far been relatively unsuccessful.

In this recent report Gupta et al. provide an alternate approach to the production of high-performance superplasticisers by utilising lignin as a macroinitiator for a reverse addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerisation. RAFT is a controlled radical polymerisation technique, which affords good control of molecular weight and polydispersity. Acrylamide was polymerised from the lignin surface in order to create grafted architectures composed of lignin cores with synthetic polyacrylamide coronas. It is found that the lignin compounds synthesised using RAFT polymerisation are more efficient superplasticisers than those prepared by free radical polymerisation, due to their unique polymer-grafted architecture.

The resulting lignin based materials reduced the yield stress of cement paste to similar levels as a leading commercial superplasticiser at concentrations ten-fold lower. These compounds have excellent potential as next-generation admixtures for hydraulic cement, with further work needed to clarify optimal grafting density and length of coronal polymer-chains.

Comparison of physical properties of cement with different superplasticizers
Comparison of physical properties of cement with different superplasticisers

To findout more read the full article below:

Molecular Architecture Requirements for Polymer-Grafted Lignin Superplasticizers by Chetali Gupta, Madeline J. Sverdlove and Newell R. Washburn, Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02675F

This post was written by web writer Rob Woodward. Rob is currently based in Imperial College London working in the Polymer and Composite Engineering (PaCE) group. Rob has a background in both responsive polymeric surfactants and microporous organic polymers for carbon capture and storage.

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Soft Matter Prize Winners at 26th Symposium of the Research Group on Polymer Gels

Congratulations go to Matsushita Takuto, Michika Onoda and Kenta Kokado who all won Soft Matter sponsored prizes at the 26th Symposium of the Research Group on Polymer Gels, The Society of Polymer Science held in Tokyo, Japan on 19th-20th January 2015.

26th Symposium of the Research Group on Polymer Gels winner, The Society of Polymer Science
From left to right: Chair: Takao Aoyagi, Prize winners: Matsushita Takuto, Michika Onoda and Kenta Kokado and Royal Society of Chemistry Manager: Hiromitsu Urakami

The Soft Matter poster award was won by Matsushita Takuto who is based at the University of Tokyo, Japan.

The Soft Matter Presentation Award was awarded to Assistant Professor Kenta Kokado who is based at Hokkaido University. Kenta’s research interests are organic and polymer synthesis.

Michika Onoda won the Soft Matter Student Presentation Award. Michika works at the University of Tokyo, Japan.

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Structured Soft and Biological Matter

We are pleased to announce the Structured Soft and Biological Matter one-day symposium which will be held at Durham University, UK on 9th June 2015.

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Soft Matter, the symposium will feature thought-provoking talks from members the Soft Matter Editorial Board, and will contain two theme sessions: one focussing on the chemistry, physics and dynamics of condensed polymer rings, and the second on nanostructured soft materials.

Speakers

Michael Rubinstein (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, United States)
Paul Janmey (University of Pennsylvania, United States)
Christos Likos (University of Vienna, Austria)
Darrin Pochan (University of Delaware, United States)
Samuel Safran (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
Dimitris Vlassopoulos (University of Crete, Greece)
Jian Ping Gong (Hokkaido University, Japan)

Register
Registration is NOW OPEN and will cost £20 per person. Please sign up for what promises to be a fantastic meeting. The deadline for registration is 15th May 2015.

Submit your abstract
There will be the opportunity to present posters, so submit your abstract now to avoid disappointment. The deadline for poster abstract submission is 17th April 2015.

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HOT Articles for February!

Sphere to rod transitions in self assembled systems probed using direct force measurement
Christopher J. Fewkes, Rico F. Tabor and Raymond R. Dagastine

Graphical abstract: Sphere to rod transitions in self assembled systems probed using direct force measurement

Effect of shape on the self-assembly of faceted patchy nanoplates with irregular shape into tiling patterns
Jaime A. Millan, Daniel Ortiz and Sharon C. Glotzer

Graphical abstract: Effect of shape on the self-assembly of faceted patchy nanoplates with irregular shape into tiling patterns

These articles will be free until 3rd March 2015


Angle- and strain-independent coloured free-standing films incorporating non-spherical colloidal photonic crystals
Seon Ju Yeo, Fuquan Tu, Seung-hyun Kim, Gi-Ra Yi, Pil J. Yoo and Daeyeon Lee

Graphical abstract: Angle- and strain-independent coloured free-standing films incorporating non-spherical colloidal photonic crystals

The role of bond tangency and bond gap in hard sphere crystallization of chains
Nikos Ch. Karayiannis, Katerina Foteinopoulou and Manuel Laso

Graphical abstract: The role of bond tangency and bond gap in hard sphere crystallization of chains

These articles will be free until 10th March 2015


2D protein arrays induce 3D in vivo-like assemblies of cells
S. Moreno-Flores and S. Küpcü  

Graphical abstract: 2D protein arrays induce 3D in vivo-like assemblies of cells

Mixed mode of dissolving immersed nanodroplets at a solid–water interface
Xuehua Zhang, Jun Wang, Lei Bao, Erik Dietrich, Roeland C. A. van der Veen, Shuhua Peng, James Friend, Harold J. W. Zandvliet, Leslie Yeo and Detlef Lohse

Graphical abstract: Mixed mode of dissolving immersed nanodroplets at a solid–water interface

These articles will be free until 17th March 2015


Freely drawn single lipid nanotube patterns
Kaori Sugihara, Amin Rustom and Joachim P. Spatz 

Graphical abstract: Freely drawn single lipid nanotube patterns

Liquid crystal quenched orientational disorder at an AFM-scribed alignment surface
J. S. Pendery, T. J. Atherton, M. Nobili, R. G. Petschek, E. Lacaze and C. Rosenblatt

Graphical abstract: Liquid crystal quenched orientational disorder at an AFM-scribed alignment surface

These articles will be free until 24th March 2015


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Caddisfly silk gets shocked into self-recovery

Article written by Emma Stephen

The tough, extendable, energy-dissipating properties of the casemaker caddisfly’s adhesive silk are down to a self-recovering network of calcium crosslinks, new research shows. US researchers behind the discovery hope to harness these findings to design new synthetic bioadhesives that can adhere to wet tissues.

Images (l and m) of silk holding together glass beads in the same way that silk and stones combine to make the body armour (r)

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Self-recovering caddisfly silk: energy dissipating, Ca2+-dependent, double dynamic network fibers
Nicholas N. Ashton and Russell J. Stewart  
Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02435D, Paper

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Joint Biomaterials Science and Soft Matter ‘Silk and silk-inspired materials’ Web Collection

Take a look at the ‘Silk and silk-inspired materials’ web collection, a joint venture by Biomaterials Science and Soft Matter.

Are you interested in why spider silk is so strong? Or maybe you’re intrigued to find out how silk can be utilised in cell delivery? Whatever your curiosity be sure to check out the ‘Silk and silk-inspired materials’ web collection and find out why this growing area of research is proving so popular!

The web collection features articles from both Biomaterials Science and Soft Matter by leading authors from around the world. The collection contains a range of article types which cover the properties and rheology of silk-inspired materials as well as investigations into the surface properties of spider silk particles. Please follow the link to read all the articles in this popular area of research.

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