4th International Soft Matter Conference – abstract submission and registration now open!

Join keynote speakers and Soft Matter Associate Editors Jan Dhont, Christos Likos and Dimitris Vlassopoulos at The 4th International Soft Matter Conference (ISMC 2016), to be held in Grenoble, France from 12–15 September 2016.

Submit your abstract by 1 March 2016

Early bird registration ends 1 June 2016

This conference will cover both the fundamental and applied aspects of soft matter and complex systems – please see the scientific programme for more information. Organised locally by scientists from the large-scale facilities ILL and ESRF as well as from Grenoble University and other research organisations such as CEA, CNRS and INPG, the venue will be the conference centre Alpexpo in Grenoble.

Plenary speakers confirmed:

  • Matthias Ballauff, Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, Germany
  • Jasna Brujic, University of New York, USA
  • Joao Cabral, Imperial College, London, UK
  • Michael E. Cates, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Stefan W. Hell, MPI and University of Göttingen, Germany
  • Regine von Klitzing, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Igor Musevic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Dieter Richter, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • Francesco Sciortino, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

Submit your abstract now to get involved!

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Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles – Q4 2015

This month sees the following articles in Soft Matter that are in the top ten most accessed from October – December:

The nonlinear viscoelasticity of hyaluronic acid and its role in joint lubrication
Zhenhuan Zhang and Gordon F. Christopher
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2596-2603
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00131E

Biomimetic microlens array with antireflective “moth-eye” surface
Doo-Hyun Ko, John R. Tumbleston, Kevin J. Henderson, Larken E. Euliss, Joseph M. DeSimone, Rene Lopez and Edward T. Samulski
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 6404-6407
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05302G

Liquid marbles: topical context within soft matter and recent progress
G. McHale and M. I. Newton
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2530-2546
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00084J

How droplets nucleate and grow on liquids and liquid impregnated surfaces
Sushant Anand, Konrad Rykaczewski, Srinivas Bengaluru Subramanyam, Daniel Beysens and Kripa K. Varanasi
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 69-80
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01424C

Manipulation of micro- and nanostructure motion with magnetic fields
Roger S. M. Rikken, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Jan C. Maan, Jan C. M. van Hest, Daniela A. Wilson and Peter C. M. Christianen
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 1295-1308
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52294F

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
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2394-2403
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52294F

Ultra-thin conductive free-standing PEDOT/PSS nanofilms
Francesco Greco, Alessandra Zucca, Silvia Taccola, Arianna Menciassi, Toshinori Fujie, Hiroki Haniuda, Shinji Takeoka, Paolo Dario and Virgilio Mattoli
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 10642-10650
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52294F

Why are double network hydrogels so tough?
Jian Ping Gong
Soft Matter, 2010,6, 2583-2590
DOI: 10.1039/B924290B

Understanding diluted dispersions of superparamagnetic particles under strong magnetic fields: a review of concepts, theory and simulations
Jordi Faraudo, Jordi S. Andreu and Juan Camacho
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 6654-6664
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM00132F

Vibro-levitation and inverted pendulum: parametric resonance in vibrating droplets and soft materials
Rahul Ramachandran and Michael Nosonovsky
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 4633-4639
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00265B

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to Soft Matter? Then why not submit to us today!

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the Soft Matter e-Alert or RSS feeds or follow Soft Matter on Twitter or Facebook

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Stable Liquid Drop Deformation with Nanoparticles

Miniature reaction vessels, such as liquid marbles, have shown significant promise for millimeter scale and low volume chemical and biological experiments. Here, solid particles are trapped at the drop surface, separating the interior liquid from the surface, so the droplet does not stick to the substrate. For large scale applications, liquid marbles have some handicaps, including their lack of optical clarity and their restriction to only a spherical shape. In a recent full article in Soft Matter, a collaborative research team has recently discovered a liquid marble alternative, where nanoparticles are squeezed onto a drop surface to alter its shape while still maintaining optical transparency and reaction vessel properties.

Water drops and liquid plasticine deformed with nanoparticles

Deformed water drops and examples of liquid plasticine.

To create the stable deformation of a liquid, a single water drop is placed between two glass surfaces. The two glass surfaces were coated with layers of hydrophobic silica nanoparticles. When the drop was squeezed between the two modified glass layers and then released, nanoparticles detached from the glass and became adhered at the water droplet surface. Once the squeezing force was released and as the droplet tried to recover to its original spherical shape, the new nanoparticle layers on the drop surface became “jammed”, and permanently deformed the water droplet shape. The final shape of the deformed droplet was determined by the squeezing force, but the shape of the droplet could be adjusted by injecting new water into the drop, breaking apart the surface nanoparticles.

Moving from single water drops to larger volumes and exploiting the jamming properties of the nanoparticles, liquid plasticines could be developed. The water was deformed into a variety of shapes and used as small reaction vessels. Multiple plasticines were joined for controlled chemical reactions and then quickly separated using a hydrophobic knife. As proof of concept, a liquid plasticine with gold nanoparticles was connected to DC power (30 V) allowing the gold nanoparticles to migrate to the positive end of the plasticine. The liquid was then cut to separate the gold particles from the rest of the liquid. The permanently deformed drops and liquid plasticines offer new alternatives for liquid lenses and small volume liquid reactors.

See the full Soft Matter article here:

Liquid plasticine: controlled deformation and recovery of droplets with interfacial nanoparticle jamming

Xiaoguang Li, Yahui Xue, Pengyu Lv, Hao Lin, Feng Du, Yueyun Hu, Jun Shen, and Huiling Duan



Morgan M. StantonDr. Morgan M. Stanton is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2014. Read more about Morgan’s research publications here or you can follow her on Twitter @morg368.

Follow the latest Soft Matter publications and updates on Twitter @softmatter or on Facebook.

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8th International Conference on Porous Media & Annual Meeting

Soft Matter is pleased to sponsor the 8th International Conference on Porous Media & Annual Meeting taking place May 9-12, 2016, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

The annual InterPore conference aims to unite people from diverse disciplines who study and work with porous media. From natural to industrial systems, porous media can be complex. The goal of the annual conference is to bring people together so they can exchange ideas and be made aware of each other’s interests and research activities

Plenary speakers include:

Howard Stone Princeton University, USA
Sarah Tolbert University of California, Los Angeles, USA
David Weitz Harvard University, USA
Paul Trokhan, Procter and Gamble Company (P&G)

Abstract submission deadline is December 28th 2016

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CompFlu-2016

CompFlu-2016 is an international meeting for researchers in the interdisciplinary area of complex fluids or soft matter, taking place 2-4 January, 2016 in Pune, India.

CompFlu meetings have been held in India since 2002, and provide a forum for soft matter researchers from academia, government research laboratories and industry to come together.

It will run back-to-back with the Indo-US Workshop on Nanoparticle Assemblies (at CSIR-NCL, Pune from 4-6 January, 2016) and the Faraday Discussions on Nanoparticle Assemblies (IITB, Mumbai from 7-9 January, 2016.

CompFlu-2016 will have total 18 sessions, with 6 talks per session and each session will be chaired by a session chair. Click here for the Scientific programme including the names of session chairs and the session themes covering nearly all of soft matter.

The Soft Matter Editorial Development Executive Dr Deeksha Gupta will be attending on behalf of the journal.

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Modeling boron nitride nanopores for DNA sequence detection

Web writer Morgan Stanton summarises a recent article from the journal

Quickly detecting DNA sequences with high accuracy is a significant goal for diagnostic medicine and genetics. The vast quantities of DNA and its small size make it difficult to achieve this goal. Nanopores offer a rapid method of detection by threading strands of DNA through a nanopore to detect individual nucleotides of the DNA. Solid-state nanopores separate two fluidic chambers and as the DNA passes through the pore, the pore becomes partially clogged and produces a blockage of ionic currents. The change in ionic current can be used to collect structural information from the DNA. Graphene has been well studied, experimentally and theoretically, for fabrication of these pores, but graphene produces significant complications with DNA detection. Graphene pores often contain material defects and DNA sticks to graphene, blocking the pores permanently, limiting detection capabilities. In a recent full article in Soft Matter, a collaborative research team tackles this issue by theoretically modeling DNA in a boron-nitride

Boron-nitride nanopore for double stranded DNA detection using molecular dynamics

Boron-nitride nanopore for double stranded DNA detection

Boron-nitride is composed of boron and nitride atoms in a honeycomb structure. The material is just as thin as graphene and exhibits similar desirable electrical and mechanical properties, but is more resistive to DNA adhesion, allowing the DNA to pass through the pore without permanent blockage. The research group used large-scale molecular dynamics to model double stranded DNA passing through boron-nitride pores ranging in size from 2.5 to 6.5 nm with an external voltage of 1.0 V. The smaller 2.5 nm pore size had greater blockage currents and a higher sensitivity to DNA threading through the pore than the larger pores due to its smaller cross-sectional area. Double stranded DNA composed of only adenine-thymine (A-T) or guanine-cytosine (G-C) nucleotide pairs were compared using the 2.5 nm pores with multiple applied voltages with the goal of understating the changes is current signal as the DNA passed through the pore. The greatest difference between A-T DNA and G-C DNA was observed at 1.0 V with G-C DNA exhibiting greater stretching and stress than the A-T DNA. Both sets of DNA passed readily through the boron-nitride nanopores without permanent blockage. In comparison, in modelling of DNA passing through graphene nanopores, DNA exhibited significant adhesion and breakage of the DNA at the pore. The large changes is current signal between A-T and G-C DNA and the lack of DNA adhesion using boron-nitride pores offer an exciting opportunity for future DNA sequencing. The molecular dynamic modeling presented will hopefully influence current experimental work in the development of DNA detection with nanopores.

See the full Soft Matter article here:

DNA translocation through single-layer boron nitride nanopores
Zonglin Gu, Yuanzhao Zhang, Binquan Luan and Ruhong Zhou
a


Morgan M. Stanton

Dr. Morgan M. Stanton is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2014. Read more about Morgan’s research publications here or you can follow her on Twitter @morg368.

Follow the latest Soft Matter publications and updates on Twitter @softmatter or on Facebook

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Soft Matter Welcomes Jan Dhont to the Editorial Board as Associate Editor

We are pleased to welcome new Associate Editor, Professor Jan K. G. Dhont (Forschungszentrum Jülich and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany) to the Soft Matter Editorial Board.

Jan’s research focusses on the study of colloidal systems. He aims to understand the macroscopic, non-equilibrium phenomena that colloid systems exhibit, both with and without external fields such as shear flow, electric fields and confinement; on a microscopic basis. To achieve this he synthesises colloidal dispersions with appropriate and tailored properties and uses a variety of optical and mechanical techniques to probe structure, dynamics and kinetics on a microscopic scale.

Jan is currently both a director at Forschungszentrum Jülich and Professor of Physics at the University of Düsseldorf. He has made a significant contribution to the field and to the journal and we are delighted to have him join the Soft Matter team!

To find out more about Jan’s research, take a look at his recent papers:

Thermophoresis of charged colloidal rods
Zilin Wang, Hartmut Kriegs, Johan Buitenhuis, Jan K. G. Dhont and Simone Wiegand

Near-wall dynamics of concentrated hard-sphere suspensions: comparison of evanescent wave DLS experiments, virial approximation and simulations
Yi Liu, Jerzy Bławzdziewicz, Bogdan Cichocki, Jan K. G. Dhont, Maciej Lisicki, Eligiusz Wajnryb, Y.-N. Young and Peter R. Lang

Flow instability due to coupling of shear-gradients with concentration: non-uniform flow of (hard-sphere) glasses
Howon Jin, Kyongok Kang, Kyung Hyun Ahn and  Jan K. G. Dhont

An electric-field induced dynamical state in dispersions of charged colloidal rods
Jan K. G. Dhont and Kyongok Kang

As a Soft Matter Associate Editor, Jan will be handling submissions to the journal. Why not submit your next paper to his Editorial Office?

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2016 Soft Matter Lectureship is now open!

Do you know an early-career researcher who deserves recognition for their contribution to the soft matter field?

Now is your chance to put them forward for the accolade they deserve.

Soft Matter is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for its Soft Matter Lectureship 2016. This annual lectureship was established in 2009 to honour an early-stage career scientist who has made a significant contribution to the soft matter field.

Previous winners include:


Previous winners Lucio Isa, Eric Dufresne, Eric Furst & Patrick Doyle


2015 – Lucio Isa, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

2014 – Eric Dufresne, Yale Univeristy, USA

2013 – Eric Furst, University of Delaware, USA

2012 – Patrick Doyle, MIT, USA

2011 – Michael J. Solomon, University of Michigan, USA

2010 – Bartosz Grzybowski, Northwestern University, USA

2009 – Emanuela Zaccarelli, University of Rome, Italy

Qualification

To be eligible for the Soft Matter Lectureship, the candidate should be in the earlier stages of their scientific career, typically within 12 years of attaining their doctorate or equivalent degree, and will have made a significant contribution to the field.

Description

The recipient of the award will be asked to present a lecture three times, one of which will be located in the home country of the recipient. The Soft Matter Editorial Office will provide the sum of £1000 to the recipient for travel and accommodation costs.

The recipient will be presented with the award at one of the three award lectures. They will also be asked to contribute a lead article to the journal and will have their work showcased on the back cover of the issue in which their article is published.

Selection

The recipient of the award will be selected and endorsed by the Soft Matter Editorial Board.

Nominations

Those wishing to make a nomination should send details of the nominee, including a brief C.V. (no longer than 2 pages A4) together with a letter (no longer than 2 pages A4) supporting the nomination, to the Soft Matter Editorial Office by 29th January 2016. Self-nomination is not permitted.

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Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles – Q3 2015

This month sees the following articles in Soft Matter that are in the top ten most accessed from July – September:

Nanostructures in Superhydrophobic Ti6Al4V Hierarchical Surfaces Control Wetting State Transitions
Yizhou Shen, Jie Tao, Haijun Tao, Shanlong Chen, Lei Pan and Tao Wang
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 3806-3811
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00024F  

Transition from Cassie to impaled state during drop impact on groove-textured solid surfaces
V. Vaikuntanathan and D. Sivakumar
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 2991-3002
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00050A  

The effect of drop volume and micropillar shape on the apparent contact angle of ordered microstructured surfaces
Luciano Afferrante and Giuseppe Carbone
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 3906-3914
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM53104J 

Phase and Self-assembly Transition Induced by Glycerol-Borax Interaction in Aqueous Surfactant Two-Phase System
Ying Zhao, Yun Yan, Lingxiang Jiang, Jianbin Huang and Heinz Hoffmann
Soft Matter, 2009,5, 4250-4255
DOI: 10.1039/B911564A  

Manipulation of micro- and nanostructure motion with magnetic fields
Roger S. M. Rikken, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Jan C. Maan, Jan C. M. van Hest, Daniela A. Wilson and Peter C. M. Christianen
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 1295-1308
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52294F  

Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers: A Tutorial Review of Strategies for Enabling Nanotechnology with Soft Matter
Hanqiong Hu, Manesh Gopinadhan and Chinedum O. Osuji
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 3867-3889
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52607K  

Wetting process in superhydrophobic disordered surfaces
Francesco Buatier de Mongeot, Daniele Chiappe, Francesco Gagliardi, Andrea Toma, Roberto Felici, Alessandro Garibbo and Corrado Boragno
Soft Matter, 2010,6, 1409-1412
DOI: 10.1039/C001234C  

Self-healing Hydrogels Containing Reversible Oxime Crosslinks
Soma Mukherjee, Megan R. Hill and Brent S. Sumerlin
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 6152-6161
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00865D  

Introducing high gravity field to enhance infiltration of small molecules into polyelectrolyte multilayer
Xiaolin Liu, Kun Zhao, Chao Jiang, Yue Wang, Lei Shao, Yajun Zhang and Feng Shi
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 5748-5753
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01055A  

Phase Diagram of Colloidal Hard Superballs: from Cubes via Spheres to Octahedra
Ran Ni, Anjan Prasad Gantapara, Joost de Graaf, René van Roij and Marjolein Dijkstra
Soft Matter, 2012,8, 8826-8834
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25813G  

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to Soft Matter? Then why not submit to us today!

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the Soft Matter e-Alert or RSS feeds or follow Soft Matter on Twitter or Facebook

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Bacteria motors guided by liquid crystals

Web writer Morgan Stanton summarises a recent article from the journal

Bacteria play a vital role in digestive, reproductive, and immune health within the human body.  Recently, motile bacteria have been analyzed for their ability to transport cargo in confined environments.  Bacteria convert surrounding chemical energy into mechanical work making them ideal for a micro scale motor.  Although bacteria have proven capable of transporting cargo, directing where they swim and understanding how they interact with the cargo has been a challenge.   A research group from University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA has utilized nematic liquid crystals to guide bacteria swimming and monitor how they associate with their cargo load. The full work is described in a recent communication article in Soft Matter.

P. mirabillis cell pushes a C. albicans cell

A motile P. mirabilis cell pushes a non-motile C. albicans cell

The motile bacteria, P. mirabilis, were used to push non-motile fungal cells, C. albicans, in a directed path.  Both the bacterial and fungal cells are found in patients with urinary tract infections.  The urinary epithelium secretes layers of mucus within the urinary tract which is guided by external flow; molecules and cells in the urinary tract exhibit directional alignment due to the mucus flow.  The proposed nematic liquid crystal environment with motile and non-motile cells represents a simple model of the human urinary tract.  The alignment of the liquid crystal guides the bacteria and causes them to swim along the director field, similar to cells in the urinary epithelium.  P. mirabilis were mixed with C. albicans and suspended within a 20 µm thick liquid crystal layer composed of disodium cromoglycate.  Single P. mirabilis cells pushed the non-motile C. albicans cells along the director of the liquid crystal, to give straight or curved swimming tracks depending on the crystal orientation.  The P. mirabilis were capable of reaching a velocity of 1 – 2 µm/s-1 while transporting their fungal cell cargo.

For a greater understanding of the cargo transport mechanism, 2 µm diameter beads were mixed with the P. mirabilis. Bacteria transporting beads were capable of reaching velocities of 5 µm/s-1.  The hydrodynamics of the system of swimming bacteria and particles was analyzed with the mathematical model, regularized Stokeslets.  The observed experimental swimming velocity correlated with numerical simulated results, with a clear trend of decreasing speed with increasing cargo size.  The mathematical model suggests hydrodynamic interaction of the bacteria flagella and cargo load are an important for predicting system velocity.  The work helps understand cellular interspecies interaction that is controlled with liquid crystal alignment.

See the full Soft Matter communication here:

Bacterial transport of colloids in liquid crystalline environments
Rishi R. Trivedi, Rina Maeda, Nicholas L. Abbott, Saverio E. Spagnolie, and Douglas B. Weibel
Soft Matter, Advanced Article, 2015
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02041G


Morgan M. Stanton

Dr. Morgan M. Stanton is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany.  She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2014.  Read more about Morgan’s research publications here or you can follow her on Twitter @morg368.

Follow the latest Soft Matter publications and updates on Twitter @softmatter or on Facebook

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