Soft matter goes digital

Written by Katie Bayliss

Already used in everything from paints to optical materials, colloids have found an entirely new application: as computing elements capable of high density information storage.

US collaborators Sharon Glotzer from University of Michigan and David Pine from New York University have designed a system of reconfigurable colloidal clusters which show potential for performing computational functions in unconventional environments. The team’s ‘digital colloids’ are based on specially designed dimpled particles, which, through entropic interactions, can be made to assemble onto a central sphere and explore various configurations on the sphere’s surface.

To read the full article please visit Chemistry World.

Surface relaxations as a tool to distinguish the dynamic interfacial properties of films formed by normal and diseased meibomian lipids
Georgi As. Georgiev, Norihiko Yokoi, Slavyana Ivanova, Vesselin Tonchev, Yana Nencheva and Rumen Krastev  
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 5579-5588
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00758A

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Web collection for 2013 International Soft Matter Conference

Take a look at our new web collection, celebrating the excellent research presented at the 2013 International Soft Matter Conference and the very healthy state of the soft matter field.

This collection of articles is Guest Edited by Sofia Kantorovich (University of Vienna) and Emanuela Zaccarelli (CNR-ISC, Sapienza Universita di Roma).  It comprises papers from a selection of talks and posters that were presented at  the 3rd International Soft Matter Conference, held in Rome on 15-19 September last year.

The collection reflects the variety of topics discussed at the conference, and includes articles on colloids, gels, biomaterials such as DNA and cells, crystals and glasses.  It highlights novel experimental methods, theoretical approaches and advanced simulation techniques, and provides an insight into both equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium behaviour of soft matter.

Articles include:

Phase separation and self-assembly of colloidal dimers with tunable attractive strength: from symmetrical square-wells to Janus dumbbells
Gianmarco Munaò, Patrick O’Toole, Toby S. Hudson, Dino Costa, Carlo Caccamo, Achille Giacometti and Francesco Sciortino  

Graphical abstract: Phase separation and self-assembly of colloidal dimers with tunable attractive strength: from symmetrical square-wells to Janus dumbbells

Biocompatible cationic lipids for the formulation of liposomal DNA vectors
Costanza Montis, Silvia Sostegni, Silvia Milani, Piero Baglioni and Debora Berti  

Graphical abstract: Biocompatible cationic lipids for the formulation of liposomal DNA vectors

Viscoelasticity of nematic liquid crystals at a glance
Fabio Giavazzi, Stefano Crotti, Antonio Speciale, Francesca Serra, Giuliano Zanchetta, Veronique Trappe, Marco Buscaglia, Tommaso Bellini and Roberto Cerbino (Open Access)

Graphical abstract: Viscoelasticity of nematic liquid crystals at a glance

Stratum corneum molecular mobility in the presence of natural moisturizers
Sebastian Björklund, Jenny Marie Andersson, Quoc Dat Pham, Agnieszka Nowacka, Daniel Topgaard and Emma Sparr  (featured in Chemistry World)

  Graphical abstract: Stratum corneum molecular mobility in the presence of natural moisturizers

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Enrico Fermi Summer School on Soft Matter Self-Assembly

Making plans for next summer?

The International School of Physics Enrico Fermi is holding a Summer School on Soft Matter Self-Assembly on June 28-July 7 2015 in Varenna, Italy.  

The 10-day school will be a great opportunity for PhD students and postdocs to engage with the some of the most exciting and current topics in the physics of colloids, through a series of mini-courses and seminars hosted by leading figures in the field.

Topics include:

  • Colloids with directional bonding (David Pine, New York University, US)
  • Pathways to self-organization (Christoph Dellago, University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Particles at interfaces (Kathleen Stebe, University of Pennsylvania, US)
  • Self-assembly hydrodynamics (Julia Yeomans, Oxford University, UK)
  • Driven self-assembly (Peter Schurtenberger, Lund University, Sweden )
  • Polymer structure and dynamics (Michael Rubinstein, University of North Carolina, US)
  • Liquid-crystal colloid dispersions (Randall Kamien, University of Pennsylvania, US)
  • DNA-based self-assembly (Oleg Gang, Brookhaven National University, US)
  • Self-organizing nanosystems (Willem Kegel, Utrecht University, the Netherlands)

For more information, take a look at the website of the International School of Physics Enrico Fermi, or contact the summer school directors Christos Likos, University of Vienna, Francesco Sciortino, Sapienza Universita di Roma, or Primoz Ziherl, Jozef Stefan Institute.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

HOT articles for July!

Capillary bridge rupture in dip-pen nanolithography
Daniel J. Eichelsdoerfer, Keith A. Brown and Chad A. Mirkin  

 Graphical abstract: Capillary bridge rupture in dip-pen nanolithography
 
A universal scaling law of grain chain elasticity under pressure revealed by a simple force vibration method
Lichen Chai, Xuebang Wu and C. S. Liu    

Graphical abstract: A universal scaling law of grain chain elasticity under pressure revealed by a simple force vibration method

These papers are free to access until 3rd August 2014


Growth of equilibrium structures built from a large number of distinct component types
Lester O. Hedges, Ranjan V. Mannige and Stephen Whitelam   

 Graphical abstract: Growth of equilibrium structures built from a large number of distinct component types

Branched–linear polyion complexes investigated by Monte Carlo simulations
Daniel G. Angelescu and Per Linse  

Graphical abstract: Branched–linear polyion complexes investigated by Monte Carlo simulations

 
The adsorption–desorption behaviour and structure function relationships of bile salts
Roger Parker, Neil M. Rigby, Michael J. Ridout, A. Patrick Gunning and Peter J. Wilde  
Graphical abstract: The adsorption–desorption behaviour and structure function relationships of bile salts

Tiling patterns from ABC star molecules: 3-colored foams?
Jacob J. K. Kirkensgaard, Martin C. Pedersen and Stephen T. Hyde  
Graphical abstract: Tiling patterns from ABC star molecules: 3-colored foams?

These papers are free to access until 21st  August 2014


Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

A second look at dry eye syndrome

Measurements highlighting the different mechanical properties of healthy and diseased tear film could provide fresh understanding of the underlying causes of dry eye syndrome, and point to new treatments to ease the discomfort of millions of sufferers.

With risk factors including contact lens wear and extended periods in front of a computer screen, the discomfort and visual disturbance associated with dry eye syndrome (DES) is a growing public health concern.

To read the full article please visit Chemistry World.

Surface relaxations as a tool to distinguish the dynamic interfacial properties of films by normal and diseased meibomian lipids
Georgi As. Georgiev, Norihiko Yokoi, Slavyana Ivanova, Vesselin Tonchev, Yana Nencheva and Rumen Krastev  
Soft Matter, 2014,
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00758A
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

HOT articles for June!

Director/barycentric rotation in cholesteric droplets under temperature gradient
Jun Yoshioka, Fumiya Ito, Yuto Suzuki, Hiroaki Takahashi, Hideaki Takizawa and Yuka Tabe

Graphical abstract: Director/barycentric rotation in cholesteric droplets under temperature gradient

The force of impacting rain
Dan Soto, Aurélie Borel De Larivière, Xavier Boutillon, Christophe Clanet and David Quéré

Graphical abstract: The force of impacting rain

These papers are free to access until 2nd July 2014


Self-organizing microfluidic crystals
William E. Uspal and Patrick S. Doyle  

Graphical abstract: Self-organizing microfluidic crystals

Torque density measurements on vortex fluids produced by symmetry-breaking rational magnetic fields
Kyle J. Solis and James E. Martin 

Graphical abstract: Torque density measurements on vortex fluids produced by symmetry-breaking rational magnetic fields
A microscopic view of the yielding transition in concentrated emulsions
E. D. Knowlton, D. J. Pine and L. Cipelletti   

Graphical abstract: A microscopic view of the yielding transition in concentrated emulsions

These papers are free to access until 15th July 2014


Binding of amphiphilic and triphilic block copolymers to lipid model membranes: the role of perfluorinated moieties
Christian Schwieger, Anja Achilles, Sven Scholz, Jan Rüger, Kirsten Bacia, Kay Saalwaechter, Jörg Kressler and Alfred Blume  
Soft Matter, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00830H 

Graphical abstract: Binding of amphiphilic and triphilic block copolymers to lipid model membranes: the role of perfluorinated moieties 

Bending elastic properties of a block copolymer-rich lamellar phase doped by a surfactant: a neutron spin-echo study
H. Egger, G. H. Findenegg, O. Holderer, R. Biehl, M. Monkenbusch and T. Hellweg  
Soft Matter, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00494A

Graphical abstract: Bending elastic properties of a block copolymer-rich lamellar phase doped by a surfactant: a neutron spin-echo study 

These papers are free to access until 25th July 2014


Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

2014 Soft Matter Lectureship awarded to Eric Dufresne

Eric Dufresne (L) in the lab

We are delighted to announce Professor Eric Dufresne (Yale University) as the recipient of the 2014 Soft Matter Lectureship. This award is given annually to honour a scientist who, although still in the earlier stages of their career, has made a remarkable contribution to the soft matter field.

Eric is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University.  His research group is focused on experimental soft matter physics, with emphases on colloids, capillarity and cell biology.  Eric earned his Ph.D. with David Grier at the University of Chicago and was a post-doc with David Weitz at Harvard.

Here is a sample of Eric’s recent Soft Matter papers:

Traction force microscopy in physics and biology Robert W. Style, Rostislav Boltyanskiy, Guy K. German, Callen Hyland, Christopher W. MacMinn, Aaron F. Mertz, Larry A. Wilen, Ye Xu and Eric R. Dufresne

Imaging stress and strain in the fracture of drying colloidal films Ye Xu, Guy K. German, Aaron F. Mertz and Eric R. Dufresne

 
We would like to thank everybody who nominated a candidate for the Soft Matter Lectureship- the high calibre of the nominees meant that selecting this year’s recipient was not an easy decision for our Editorial Board.  Please keep an eye on the blog for more Lectureship news, including information on where Eric will be presenting his Soft Matter lecture.
 
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Editors’ Highlights: Computational and theoretical soft matter

Did you know that an essential part of Soft Matter’s scope is the theory, modelling and simulation of soft matter systems? 

At Soft Matter, we are excited by the insights and understanding of soft matter that can be gained through computational and theoretical methods. We are committed to publishing the highest quality research in these areas.  

Helping us to achieve this aim are our Editorial Board members Michael Rubinstein (University of North Carolina, USA), Christos Likos (University of Vienna, Austria), Anna Balazs (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Sam Safran (Weitzmann Institute of Science, Israel)- all leading researchers in the theory, modelling and simulation of soft matter. 

We asked Michael, Christos, Anna and Sam to choose their favourites from the computational and theoretical papers published recently in Soft Matter. 

Below are their highlights.  All the papers selected are now free to access* until 30th June 2014 : 

Theory of two-dimensional self-assembly of Janus colloids: crystallization and orientational ordering Homin Shin and Kenneth S. Schweizer  

Annealed lattice animal model and Flory theory for the melt of non-concatenated rings: towards the physics of crumpling Alexander Y. Grosberg   

Alignment of cylindrical colloids near chemically patterned substrates induced by critical Casimir torques M. Labbé-Laurent, M. Tröndle, L. Harnau and S. Dietrich 

Shape selection in chiral ribbons: from seed pods to supramolecular assemblies Shahaf Armon, Hillel Aharoni, Michael Moshe and Eran Sharon 

From adhesion to wetting of a soft particle Thomas Salez, Michael Benzaquen and Élie Raphaël 

Modeling the response of dual cross-linked nanoparticle networks to mechanical deformation Balaji V. S. Iyer, Isaac G. Salib, Victor V. Yashin, Tomasz Kowalewski, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski and Anna C. Balazs   

Elasto-capillarity at the nanoscale: on the coupling between elasticity and surface energy in soft solids Joost H. Weijs, Bruno Andreotti and Jacco H. Snoeijer   

Phase separation dynamics on curved surfaces Davide Marenduzzo and Enzo Orlandini 

 *Free access to individuals is provided through a RSC Publishing personal account. Registration is quick, free and simple. 

We invite you to submit your next research paper in these areas to Soft Matter.   

About the Editors 

Professor Michael RubinsteinMichael Rubinstein is Chair of the Soft Matter Editorial Board and a Professor at the University of North Carolina, USA. Michael’s research interests are in the area of theoretical soft condensed matter physics with an emphasis on polymer physics. His main scientific contributions include theories of polymer entanglements, dynamics of reversible networks, and models of charged polymers. His recent scientific interests are in applications of polymer physics to biological systems. 

Professor Christos Likos  

Christos Likos is a Professor at the University of Vienna, Austria and handles submissions as a Soft Matter Associate Editor. His research interests revolve around coarse-graining, structure and dynamics of complex fluids, mainly solutions of colloidal particles and macromolecular aggregates. He is Coordinator of the EU-wide ITN “Physics of Complex Colloids: Equilibrium and Driven”, a joint effort of leading laboratories to analyze the properties of complex fluids in- and out-of-equilibrium. 

  

Professor Anna Balazs 

Anna Balazs is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests centre on theoretical and computational modelling of the thermodynamic and kinetic behaviour of polymer blends and composites.  She is also investigating the properties of polymers at surfaces and interfaces.Professor Sam Safran

 

Sam Safran has been a Professor in the Department of Materials and Interfaces of the Weizmann Institute, Israel, since 1990.  He also served as Vice President of the Weizmann Institute and Dean of its Graduate School.  From 1980-1990 he was at the Exxon Corporate Research Labs where he worked on the theory of soft matter with a focus on the structure and phase behavior of oil-water-surfactant dispersions.  His recent research interests have extended soft matter concepts to treat synthetic and biological membranes and cells.

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Anna Balazs is made a Materials Research Society Fellow

Congratulations to Soft Matter Editorial Board member Anna Balazs, who has been made a Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS) this year.

This recognition honors MRS members who are notable for their distinguished accomplishments and their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research, worldwide. 

Anna, who is a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, was awarded the Fellowship “for pioneering contributions to the prediction of materials behavior, ranging from nanocomposites to self-healing materials to oscillating gels, through the development of novel computational models.” Congratulations, Anna, on an excellent achievement!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Paul Janmey joins the Soft Matter Editorial Board

We are delighted to welcome our new Soft Matter Editorial Board member Professor Paul Janmey.

Soft Matter Associate Editor Paul JanmeyPaul Janmey is a Professor of Physiology at the Institute for Medicine and Engineering, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (USA).  After receiving his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Professor Janmey undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he developed an approach to apply polymer physics methods to study the cytoskeleton.
 
In his research work, Professor Janmey uses a variety of imaging, scattering and rheologic methods to study of cell mechanics. His current interests include:

  • viscoelastic properties of biopolymer networks
  • how and why cells respond to their mechanical environment
  • the regulation of cytoskeletal and extracellular matrix assembly
  • new biocompatible materials for tissue engineering and wound healing

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

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)