Soft Matter Lectureship awarded

Congratulations to Damien Baigl

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.

This month during the 4th International Soft Matter Conference (ISMC 2016) in Grenoble, France, we were delighted to present Professor Damien Baigl with his Soft Matter Lectureship.

Damien Baigl (second from the right in the photo) receiving his Soft Matter Lectureship

Professors Christos Likos (first from left in the photo), Dimitris Vlassopoulos (second from left) and Jan Dhont (first from right), Associate Editors of Soft Matter, presented the award to Damien in the presence of Executive Editor Dr Neil Hammond (third from right).

We would like to thank the organisers of ISMC 2016 for their collaboration with the award ceremony.

Please join us in congratulating Damien in his fantastic achievement!

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Jamming and unjamming of cell co-cultures

Binary mixtures of mammalian cells self-organize into multicellular clusters that coarsen above a critical cell density

Cell behavior is highly dependent on its surrounding environment, including neighboring and adjacent cells. Individual cells can merge and form a solid-like state for a “jamming” effect or a highly dense cell mass can disperse and become more mobile, for an “unjamming” transition. Both behaviors have been observed in complex, multi-cellular interactions such as wound healing, embryonic development, and tumor metastasis.

To investigate jamming-unjamming cell transitions, researchers from Brown University describe methods to quantify cell-cell interactions in a recently published Soft Matter article. The group observed co-cultures of epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells and their ability to cluster (jamming) or remain mobile and unconnected (unjamming). Epithelial cells collectively organize to form dense multi-layered cell sheets while mesenchymal cells avoid cell-cell bonds and are capable of individual migration.

Cell clustering ability with different ratios of epithelial (red) and mesenchymal cells (green)

By increasing the number of mesenchymal cells in an epithelial cell population, the research group observed a reduction in epithelial cell clustering causing a significant disruption in cell sheet formation and confluency. The addition of mesenchymal cells also increased the average collective cell velocity and decreased cell proliferation, reducing the typical jamming behavior of epithelial cells.

The research provides important biophysical data for collective cell behavior as well as introducing new parameters to control cell jamming-unjamming transitions.



Interested in this research? Read the full article for free until 31/10/2016 using a registered RSC account:
Clustering and jamming in epithelial-mesenchymal co-cultures
Marielena Gamboa Castro, Susan E. Leggett, and Ian Y. Wong
Soft Matter, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01287F


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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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Nanoplasters get cells into sticky situation

Written by Kirsty Muirhead

Nanoparticles that glue cells together could aid wound healing or stop tumour metastasis

tumour cells concept

Source: © Shutterstock

An international team of researchers has found that sticky nanoparticles can aggregate cells lacking the naturally occurring proteins that normally hold them together. These polystyrene nanostickers could help wound healing or stop tumour cells from spreading through the body.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Benjamin Brunel, Grégory Beaune, Usharani Nagarajan, Sylvie Dufour, Françoise Brochard-Wyart and Françoise M. Winnik
Soft Matter, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01450J, Communication
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Top 10 Reviewers for Soft Matter

Many thanks to our reviewers and community

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme of Recognition for Review, we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Soft Matter in 2016, as selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Top 10 Reviewers for Soft Matter:
- Professor Jan Dhont – ICS-3, Germany
- Dr Kaigiang Liu – Shaanxi Normal University, China
- Dr Wei Hong – Iowa State University, USA
- Professor Jan Vermant – ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Dr Yilin Wang – Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
- Dr Giorgio Cinacchi – Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
- Dr Laurent Courbin – CNRS, France
- Dr Chinedum Osuji – Yale University, USA
- Dr Kevin Cavicchi – The University of Akron, USA
- Dr Alejandro Rey – McGill University, Canada

We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Soft Matter board and all of the soft matter community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

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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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