4th International Soft Matter Conference

12-16 September 2016 in Grenoble, France

We are delighted to announce that the 4th International Soft Matter Conference (ISMC2016) will be held in Grenoble, France from 12-16 September 2016

ISMC2016

Three previous conferences were held in Aachen (2007), Granada (2010) and Rome (2013), and brought together up to 800 researchers working in the soft matter field.

Damien Baigl, 2016 Soft Matter Lectureship winner

The conference will cover both the fundamental and applied aspects of soft matter and complex systems. Local organisers of ISMC2016 include scientists from the large-scale facilities ILL and ESRF as well as from the Grenoble University and other research organisations such as CEA, CNRS, and INPG.

ISMC2016 is expected to provide a common platform for discussion on contemporary issues and future directions in the field.

Soft Matter proudly sponsors this event:

Professor Damien Baigl will be presented with the 2016 Soft Matter Lectureship during a special Soft Matter symposium chaired by Associate Editors Christo Likos and Dimitris Vlassopoulos, who will be both keynote speakers at the conference.


Mark your calendar and register now for ISMC2016
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Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation

A themed collection published in Philosophical Transactions A

Cover image - Courtesy of N. J. Brooks.

Royal Society Publishing has recently published a special issue of Philosophical Transactions A entitled Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation.

The collection was organised and edited by Michael Cates, John Seddon, Nicholas Brooks, Paul Clegg and Alex Lips. who wrote an Introduction piece.

This themed issue reports papers presented at a Discussion Meeting intended not only to address the fundamental science, focusing on generic design principles for self-organisation and interfacial structure, but also to explore the resulting prospects for ‘informed formulation’ of new and improved industrial products.


This issue is available to read online, including the Introduction which is free to access:

Introduction:

Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation
N. J. Brooks, M. E. Cates, P. S. Clegg, A. Lips, W. C. K. Poon, J. M. Seddon


Research articles:

Non-ionic surfactant phase diagram prediction by recursive partitioning
Gordon Bell

- The physics of stratum corneum lipid membranes
Chinmay Das, Peter D. Olmsted

- Lipid self-assembled structures for reactivity control in food
L. Sagalowicz, C. Moccand, T. Davidek, R. Ghanbari, I. Martiel, R. Negrini, R. Mezzenga, M. E. Leser, I. Blank, M. Michel

Exploring the in meso crystallization mechanism by characterizing the lipid mesophase microenvironment during the growth of single transmembrane α-helical peptide crystals
Leonie van ‘t Hag, Konstantin Knoblich, Shane A. Seabrook, Nigel M. Kirby, Stephen T. Mudie, Deborah Lau, Xu Li, Sally L. Gras, Xavier Mulet, Matthew E. Call, Melissa J. Call, Calum J. Drummond, Charlotte E. Conn

- Determining drug release rates of hydrophobic compounds from nanocarriers
Suzanne M. D’Addio, Abdallah A. Bukari, Mohammed Dawoud, Heike Bunjes, Carlos Rinaldi, Robert K. Prud’homme

- Arrested coalescence of viscoelastic droplets: polydisperse doublets
Prerna Dahiya, Marco Caggioni, Patrick T. Spicer

- A phenomenological description of BslA assemblies across multiple length scales
Ryan J. Morris, Keith M. Bromley, Nicola Stanley-Wall, Cait E. MacPhee

- Some modification of cellulose nanocrystals for functional Pickering emulsions
Dorra Saidane, Emilie Perrin, Fanch Cherhal, Florian Guellec, Isabelle Capron

- Manufacture of poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres using membrane emulsification
Jaiyana Bux, Mohamed S. Manga, Timothy N. Hunter, Simon Biggs


Review articles:

- Cationic liposome–nucleic acid nanoparticle assemblies with applications in gene delivery and gene silencing
Ramsey N. Majzoub, Kai K. Ewert, Cyrus R. Safinya

- Physical basis of some membrane shaping mechanisms
Mijo Simunovic, Coline Prévost, Andrew Callan-Jones, Patricia Bassereau

- Soft electrostatic repulsion in particle monolayers at liquid interfaces: surface pressure and effect of aggregation
Peter A. Kralchevsky, Krassimir D. Danov, Plamen V. Petkov

- Curvature-driven assembly in soft matter
Iris B. Liu, Nima Sharifi-Mood, Kathleen J. Stebe


Opinion piece:

- Self-assembly of small peptide amphiphiles, the structures formed and their applications. (A foods and home and personal care perspective)
W. J. Frith


We hope you enjoy reading this collection.

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Elastic Properties of the Brain

Observations suggest that physiological rigidity can be highly non-uniform at the micron-scale

Young's modulus of the pituitary gland measured with AFM

Large variations in stiffness of the pituitary gland

The composition of the human body varies widely in rigidity from soft organs and fat to stiff bones.  The rigidity and stiffness of the body plays vital roles in cell behavior and tumor development, so measuring and understanding tissue stiffness is important for the design of biomaterials and cancer treatment.

In a recent Soft Matter article, a multidisciplinary group from Grenoble, France, has probed the elastic modulus of the brain, specifically the pituitary gland, which produces and regulates hormones. Unlike previous attempts, which have observed tissues at the macro scale (mm, cm), the research team has investigated the brain at the micron level.

At this subcellular scale, it was revealed that the tissue was not uniform in elasticity and there were vast differences in stiffness throughout the gland. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), rigidity measurements from 1 kPa to 50 kPa were recorded with localized islands of increased stiffness observed.

This has been the first attempt to measure elasticity of the pituitary gland at the micron scale, providing research that could help understand cellular organization and the mechanism of tumor growth in the brain.



Interested in this research? Read the full article for free until 03/07/2016 using a registered RSC account:

AFM mapping of the elastic properties of brain tissue reveals kPa μm-1 gradients of rigidity
Nicolas Bouchonville, Mikaël Meyer, Christophe Gaude, Emmanuel Gay, David Ratel, and Alice Nicolas
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 6232-6239
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM00582A

—————-

About the webwriterMorgan M. Stanton

Dr. Morgan M. Stanton is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. Her research focuses on the cell-material interface material and properties regulating cell behavior.

Read more about Morgan’s research publications and follow her on Twitter: @morg368.

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2nd International Conference on Soft Materials

12-16 December 2016 in Jaipur, India

After the great success of ICSM 2014, we are pleased to announce the second edition of the International Conference on Soft Materials (ICSM 2016).

On behalf of the organising committee, we would like to invite scientists, academicians, young researchers and students from all over the world to attend the ICSM 2016 in Pink City Jaipur.

This conference will bring together, once again, a multi-disciplinary and international group of scientists to promote and enhance recent achievements in the field of soft materials. The exchange of knowledge and discussions amongst participants will be favoured during the conference and related social events.

Interested participants might extend their stay over weekend and see Jaipur and historical monuments in nearby cities like Taj Mahal (Agra), Pushkar (Ajmer) and Red Fort (New Delhi).


Mark these dates in your diary:
- 15 August 2016 – Abstract deadline
- 31 August 2016 – Notification of accepted abstracts
- 30 September 2016 – Early bird registration closes
- 31 October 2016 – Online registration closes
- 12-16 December 2016 – Conference is held in Jaipur, India



For more information, please contact the organising committee:

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Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles – Q2 2016

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

Durable and scalable icephobic surfaces: similarities and distinctions from superhydrophobic surfaces
H. Sojoudi, M. Wang, N. D. Boscher, G. H. McKinley and K. K. Gleason
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 1938-1963
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02295A

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

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

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/C1SM06174G

Polyelectrolyte adsorption, interparticle forces, and colloidal aggregation
Istvan Szilagyi, Gregor Trefalt, Alberto Tiraferri, Plinio Maroni and Michal Borkovec
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 2479-2502
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52132J

Progess in superhydrophobic surface development
Paul Roach, Neil J. Shirtcliffe and Michael I. Newton
Soft Matter, 2008,4, 224-240
DOI: 10.1039/B712575P

One-step production of multiple emulsions: microfluidic, polymer-stabilized and particle-stabilized approaches
Paul S. Clegg, Joe W. Tavacoli and Pete J. Wilde
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 998-1008
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01663K

Oil-in-oil emulsions stabilised solely by solid particles
Bernard P. Binks and Andrew T. Tyowua
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 876-887
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02438B

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

Molecular design of comb-shaped polycarboxylate dispersants for environmentally friendly concrete
Delphine Marchon, Ueli Sulser, Arnd Eberhardt and Robert J. Flatt
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 10719-10728
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51030A

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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Soft Matter’s latest Impact Factor is 3.798

Soft Matter is pleased to announce that its latest Impact Factor is 3.798.

Soft Matter provides a unique forum for the communication of fundamental science underpinning the behaviour of soft matter. There is a particular focus on the interface between physics, materials science, biology, chemical engineering and chemistry. Our international team of expert Associate Editors and dedicated in-house editors ensure professional peer review and rapid times to publication.

We are extremely grateful to all our readers, authors and referees for their contribution to Soft Matter’s continued success, and to our Editorial and Advisory Board members for their hard work and dedication. Thanks to all of you, Soft Matter was cited a total of 28,934 times in 2015.

Join the many leading scientists who have already chosen to publish in Soft Matter and submit today!

Find out how other Royal Society of Chemistry journals were ranked in the latest Impact Factor release.

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Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles – Q1 2016

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

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

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/C4SM02130D

One-step production of multiple emulsions: microfluidic, polymer-stabilized and particle-stabilized approaches
Paul S. Clegg, Joe W. Tavacoli and Pete J. Wilde
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 998-1008
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01663K

Durable and scalable icephobic surfaces: similarities and distinctions from superhydrophobic surfaces
H. Sojoudi, M. Wang, N. D. Boscher, G. H. McKinley and K. K. Gleason
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 1938-1963
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02295A

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

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

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/C1SM06174G

Recent trends in pH/thermo-responsive self-assembling hydrogels: from polyions to peptide-based polymeric gelators
Christophe Chassenieux and Constantinos Tsitsilianis
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 1344-1359
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02710A

Stimuli-responsive Pickering emulsions: recent advances and potential applications
Juntao Tang, Patrick James Quinlan and Kam Chiu Tam
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 3512-3529
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00247H

Oil-in-oil emulsions stabilised solely by solid particles
Bernard P. Binks and Andrew T. Tyowua
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 876-887
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02438B

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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2016 Soft Matter Lectureship is awarded to Damien Baigl

We are delighted to announce Professor Damien Baigl (ENS/UPMC/CNRS) as the 2016 Soft Matter Lectureship winner.

The Soft Matter Lectureship, now in its seventh year, is an annual award that honours an early-stage career researcher for their significant contribution to the soft matter field. The recipient is selected by the Soft Matter Editorial Board from a list of candidates nominated by the community.

Read on to find out more about Damien…

Damien did a PhD on soft matter physics with Claudine Williams in the laboratory of Pierre-Gilles de Gennes at College de France in Paris before a post-doc in biophysics at Kyoto University with Kenichi Yoshikawa. Since 2005, he has been working at the UMR PASTEUR (ENS/CNRS/UPMC) laboratory located at the Department of Chemistry of Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS, PSL Research University) in Paris (France). He was appointed ENS assistant professor in 2005 before becoming full professor (2nd class) at University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC, Sorbonne Universités) in 2010 and 1st class UPMC professor in 2013. Former member of the Institut Universtaire de France (IUF), he got an ERC starting grant in 2010. Damien has made numerous, interdisciplinary and highly original contributions to the soft matter field in topics ranging from DNA compaction, gene expression photocontrol, synthetic biology and artificial cell systems to evaporative assembly, coffee-ring effect manipulations and light-driven microfluidics.

Damien’s website can be found at http://www.baigllab.com/

To learn more about Damien’s research, please see the following for his recent work in Soft Matter:

Preparation of one- to four-branch silver nanostructures of various sizes by metallization of hybrid DNA–protein assemblies
Sergii Rudiuk, Anna Venancio-Marques, Géraldine Hallais and Damien Baigl
Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 9146-9152

Theory of DNA–cationic micelle complexation
Helmut Schiessel, María D. Correa-Rodríguez, Sergii Rudiuk, Damien Baigl and Kenichi Yoshikawa
Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 9406-9411

DNA compaction: fundamentals and applications
André Estévez-Torres and Damien Baigl
Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 6746-6756

Sergii Rudiuk, Kenichi Yoshikawa and Damien Baigl
Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 5854-5860

Keep your eyes peeled for Damien’s upcoming Soft Matter article in honour of the Lectureship award.

We would like to thank everybody who nominated a candidate for the Lectureship; we received many excellent nominations, and the Editorial Board had a difficult task in choosing between some outstanding candidates.

Please join us in congratulating Damien in his fantastic achievements by adding your comments below!

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Complex polymer nanostructures with solvent annealing

Fabrication of nanopatterns or nanostructures at a surface is often limited to the accuracy and resolution of the instrument.  Photolithography is successful at producing nanostructures, but the properties are restricted to the dimensions of the chosen mask.  In a current Soft Matter article, a collaborative research group has added an additional step to traditional photolithography to produce more complex micro- and nanostructures.  Initially, nano ‘pre-patterns’ were formed on substrates with photolithography; cross-linked polystyrene (PS), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), or a hydroxyl terminated polymer (PS-PMMA-OH) were patterned as nanostripes on a silicon wafer surface.  After the patterns were deposited, a second layer of block copolymer, PS-b-PMMA, was spincoated over the entire pre-pattern.  Finally, samples were incubated in a sealed container with an open vial of acetone to anneal the layer of PS-b-PMMA.  The solvent annealing of the block copolymer produced ordered nanostructures of PS-b-PMMA on top of the premade photolithography pattern.  PS-b-PMMA structures and dimensions varied with annealing time but remained ordered due to the initial chemical pre-pattern.  Unpatterned surfaces also developed nanostructure, but without any order to the polymer structures.

PS-b-PMMA nanopatterned polymer with acetone annealing

Nanopatterned polymer with solvent annealing

The mechanism of assembly of the block copolymer nanostructures was controlled by two factors: film thickness and migration of PMMA polymer chains from the bottom to the top of the surface as PMMA is more stable in an acetone vapor.  The combination of solvent annealing and chemical pre-patterning perturbs the polymer chain configurational energy and interfacial energy to instigate the nanostructure formation.  The polymer microdomains are formed while solvated and are retained after acetone removal.  The control of nanopattern dimensions with chemical pre-patterning and solvent annealing expands the application range of traditional photolithography.  This appealing fabrication procedure can be utilized by the seminconductor industry where complicated nanopatterns are used for data storage or electronics.

See the full Soft Matter article here:

Directed self-assembly of solvent-vapor-induced non-bulk block copolymer morphologies on nanopatterned substrates

Lei Wan, Shengxiang Ji, Chi-Chun Liu, Gordon S. W. Craig, and Paul F. Nealey


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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2015 Soft Matter Lectureship winner Lucio Isa invited speaker at APS March Meeting 2016

2015 Soft Matter Lectureship award winner Professor Lucio Isa (ETH Zürich) is an invited speaker at the American Physical Society March Meeting 2016, to be held on 14–18 March in Baltimore, USA.

Lucio’s talk “Soft particles at fluid interfaces: wetting, structure and rheology” will begin the “Soft Matter at Interfaces (Particles)” focus session, sponsored by the Topical Group on Soft Matter (GSOFT) unit of the APS and chaired by Soft Matter Editorial Board Chair Professor Michael Rubinstein.

To read more about Lucio and the 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship award, see this previous post on the Soft Matter blog.

Lucio being presented with his 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship award by Soft Matter Associate Editor Dimitris Vlassopoulos

Lucio’s most recent Soft Matter articles include:

Colloidal binary mixtures at fluid–fluid interfaces under steady shear: structural, dynamical and mechanical response
Ivo Buttinoni, Zachary A. Zell, Todd M. Squires and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 8313-8321

Adsorption of soft particles at fluid interfaces
Robert W. Style, Lucio Isa and Eric R. Dufresne
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 7412-7419

A multiscale approach to the adsorption of core–shell nanoparticles at fluid interfaces
Adrienne Nelson, Dapeng Wang, Kaloian Koynov and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 118-129

Highly ordered 2D microgel arrays: compression versus self-assembly
Karen Geisel, Walter Richtering and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 7968-7976
From themed collection 2014 Soft Matter Hot Papers

Keep an eye out for our announcement of the 2016 Soft Matter Lectureship award!

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