Making light of food allergies

Written by Katie Bayliss

Researchers in Spain are taking steps towards ‘allergy-free’ food, by treating allergy-inducing proteins with a pulsed light treatment that makes them easier to digest.

 The scientists at the University of Granada and the AZTI-Tecnalia Food Research Institute studied the protein β-lactoglobulin, which acts as an excellent emulsifier in milk and other food products but has a compact structure that defies easy digestion. This lack of digestibility is linked to allergenicity, explains team member Julia Maldonado-Valderrama: ‘If the protein is not completely digested, the body reacts as if it is an allergen, which can trigger an allergic reaction.’ Pre-treatment could break down the protein structure before eating; however, it’s a balancing act. ‘If you break the protein down too much in order to facilitate digestion, they lose their functionality and can’t be used to make foams and emulsions in food products,’ says Maldonado-Valderrama.

To read the full article please visit Chemistry World.

Improved digestibility of β-lactoglobulin by pulsed light processing: dilatational and shear study
Teresa del Castillo-Santaella, Esther Sanmartín-Sierra, Miguel Cabrerizo-Vílchez, J Arboleya and Julia Maldonado-Valderrama 
Soft Matter, 2014
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01667J, Paper

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Block Copolymer Spheres or Block Copolymer Worms: Which Pickering Emulsifier Has More Backbone?

Web writer Rob Woodward highlights a hot article from the journal

This recent publication from the Armes group investigates the ability of a number of amphiphilic block copolymer nanoparticles to stabilize n-dodecane-in-water emulsions. The aim of the work was to compare spherical and worm-like nano-structures and their efficiency as Pickering emulsifiers, i.e. the ability of these solid particles to adsorb irreversibly at the liquid-liquid interface to form a Pickering emulsion.

Graphical abstract: Are block copolymer worms more effective Pickering emulsifiers than block copolymer spheres?

In previous work by the University of Sheffield group, a number of both linear and branched block copolymers were produced in the form of vesicular structures. It was found that branching was necessary in order to prevent the vesicles dissociating into individual copolymer chains when exposed to high-shear homogenization. In this work linear and branched analogues of the copolymer poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)–poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) (PGMA-PHPMA) are synthesized as both spherical and worm-like nanoparticles. Armes et al. report that the linear nano-structures are not sufficiently robust enough to survive the high-shear conditions necessary for emulsification, whereas the cross-linked copolymer structures are more likely to retain their morphologies and yield genuine Pickering emulsions. Spherical and worm-like structures are provided greater covalent stabilization via chemical cross-linking, allowing structures to survive homogenization as with the vesicles reported previously.

The use of the more hydrophobic poly(benzyl methacrylate) (PBzMA) in place of PHPMA was also investigated in order to examine if increased amphiphilicity could enhance the stability of linear nano-objects in the absence of chemical cross-linking. Both the spherical and worm-like structures comprised of these linear polymer chains formed stable Pickering emulsions, suggesting that branching is not mandatory for the formation of the particulate surfactants.

Due to strong adsorption at the liquid-liquid interface and their ability to produce smaller droplets at a given nanoparticle concentration, it is concluded that branched copolymers with worm-like morphologies are the more effective Pickering emulsifiers. This is also aided by the suggestion that they are at least as efficiently adsorbed at the interface as their spherical analogues.

K. L. Thompson, C. J. Mable, A. Cockram, N. J. Warren, V. J. Cunningham, E. R. Jones, R. Verber and S. P. Armes

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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HOT articles for October!

 
Magneto-optic and converse magnetoelectric effects in a ferromagnetic liquid crystal
Alenka Mertelj, Natan Osterman, Darja Lisjak and Martin Čopič 

 Graphical abstract: Magneto-optic and converse magnetoelectric effects in a ferromagnetic liquid crystal
 
Trajectories of probe spheres in generalized linear viscoelastic complex fluids
Manas Khan and Thomas G. Mason  

Graphical abstract: Trajectories of probe spheres in generalized linear viscoelastic complex fluids

These articles will be free until 29th October 2014


Capillary tube wetting induced by particles: towards armoured bubbles tailoring
Farzam Zoueshtiagh, Michael Baudoin and David Guerrin

Graphical abstract: Capillary tube wetting induced by particles: towards armoured bubbles tailoring

 
Measuring cellular forces using bis-aliphatic hydrazone crosslinked stress-relaxing hydrogels
D. D. McKinnon, D. W. Domaille, T. E. Brown, K. A. Kyburz, E. Kiyotake, J. N. Cha and K. S. Anseth

Graphical abstract: Measuring cellular forces using bis-aliphatic hydrazone crosslinked stress-relaxing hydrogels

These articles will be free until 13th November 2014


Chiral random grain boundary phase of achiral hockey-stick liquid crystals
Dong Chen, Haitao Wang, Min Li, Matthew A. Glaser, Joseph E. Maclennan and Noel A. Clark

Graphical abstract: Chiral random grain boundary phase of achiral hockey-stick liquid crystals
 
Self-assembly of hard helices: a rich and unconventional polymorphism
Hima Bindu Kolli, Elisa Frezza, Giorgio Cinacchi, Alberta Ferrarini, Achille Giacometti, Toby S. Hudson, Cristiano De Michele and Francesco Sciortino

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of hard helices: a rich and unconventional polymorphism

These articles will be free until 19th November 2014


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HOT articles for September!

Engineering entropy in soft matter: the bad, the ugly and the good
Fernando A. Escobedo 

Graphical abstract: Engineering entropy in soft matter: the bad, the ugly and the good

3D Viscoelastic traction force microscopy
Jennet Toyjanova, Erin Hannen, Eyal Bar-Kochba, Eric M. Darling, David L. Henann and Christian Franck

Graphical abstract: 3D Viscoelastic traction force microscopy

These articles will be free until 10th October 2014


 
Approach to universal self-similar attractor for the levelling of thin liquid films
Michael Benzaquen, Paul Fowler, Laetitia Jubin, Thomas Salez, Kari Dalnoki-Veress and Elie Raphaël  

Graphical abstract: Approach to universal self-similar attractor for the levelling of thin liquid films
 
Discovery of a tetracontinuous, aqueous lyotropic network phase with unusual 3D-hexagonal symmetry
Gregory P. Sorenson, Adam K. Schmitt and Mahesh K. Mahanthappa  

Graphical abstract: Discovery of a tetracontinuous, aqueous lyotropic network phase with unusual 3D-hexagonal symmetry

These articles will be free until 15th October 2014


Extracting the dynamic correlation length of actin networks from microrheology experiments
Adar Sonn-Segev, Anne Bernheim-Groswasser and Yael Roichman

Graphical abstract: Extracting the dynamic correlation length of actin networks from microrheology experiments

Tuning the surface properties of hydrogel at the nanoscale with focused ion irradiation
Y. Kim, A. Y. Abuelfilat, S. P. Hoo, A. Al-Abboodi, B. Liu, Tuck Ng, P. Chan and J. Fu  

Graphical abstract: Tuning the surface properties of hydrogel at the nanoscale with focused ion irradiation 
 

These articles will be free until 22nd  October 2014


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Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles – Q2 2014

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

Edible nanoemulsions: Fabrication, properties, and functional performance 
David Julian McClements    
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 2297-2316 
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00549E 

Amphiphilic Janus Particles at Fluid Interfaces 
Ankit Kumar, Bum Jun Park, Fuquan Tu and Daeyeon Lee 
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 6604-6617 
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50239B 

Control of Mesogen Configuration in Colloids of Liquid Crystalline Polymers 
Sönke Haseloh, Paul van der Schoot and Rudolf Zentel 
Soft Matter, 2010,6, 4112-4119 
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00125B 

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 

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 

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 

Bioinspired materials that self-shape through programmed microstructures 
André R. Studart and Randall M. Erb 
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 1284-1294 
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51883C 

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 
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 4047-4055 
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00264D 

Gel architectures and their complexity 
Walter Richtering and Brian R. Saunders 
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 3695-3702 
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00208C 

Self-assembly of poly(benzyl methacrylate)-block-poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) diblock copolymer films at the air/water interface and deposition on solid substrates via Langmuir-Blodgett transfer: aggregation behavior, morphological characteristics and subphase pH effects 
P. Cecilia dos Santos Claro, Marcos E. Coustet, Carolina Diaz, Eliana Maza, M. Susana Cortizo, Félix G. Requejo, Lía I. Pietrasanta, Marcelo Ceolín and Omar Azzaroni 
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 10899-10912 
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52336E 

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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Colloidal caterpillars get a wiggle on

Article written by Katie Bayliss.

Researchers have devised a new method to transport micro cargo – by attaching it to chains of colloidal particles that wiggle their way through liquid crystals.

The research team, led by Hiroshi Orihara from Hokkaido University, Japan, and Christian Bahr from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Germany, created colloidal ‘caterpillars’ from surface-modified silica particles which self-assemble into chains when placed in a liquid crystal medium. To make them move, the team exploit an effect called electrohydrodynamic convection (EHC), where the application of an electric field creates a convective pattern of parallel rolls within the medium. The caterpillars travel in an undulating motion across successive rolls, driven by a combination of hydrodynamic flow and electric field effects. Excitingly, the caterpillars can be attached to and used to transport larger particles and liquid droplets, which are in themselves too big to be moved by the EHC rolls.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Colloidal Caterpillars for Cargo Transportation
Yuji Sasaki, Yoshinori Takikawa, VSR Jampani, Hikaru Hoshikawa, Takafumi Seto, Christian Bahr, Stephan Herminghaus, Yoshiki Hidaka and Hiroshi Orihara  
Soft Matter, 2014, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01354A, Paper

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Themed issue on Interfacial Dynamics in Foams and Emulsions

Graphical abstract: Front coverIssue 36 of Soft Matter is a very special themed issue on interfacial dynamics in foams and emulsions, published in celebration of the career of Dominique Langevin, whose work has done much to advance the understanding of these soft matter systems.

The themed issue is Guest Edited by Anniina Salonen, Wiebke Drenckhan and Emmanuelle Rio (Université Paris-Sud, France) – read their introduction to the issue in the Editorial.

On the cover

Influence of interfacial rheology on drainage from curved surfaces
M. Saad Bhamla, Caroline E. Giacomin, Caroline Balemans and Gerald G. Fuller

Review articles

Thermodynamics of adsorption of ionic surfactants at water/alkane interfaces
V. B. Fainerman, E. V. Aksenenko, N. Mucic, A. Javadi and R. Miller

Bubbles and foams in microfluidics
Axel Huerre, Vincent Miralles and Marie-Caroline Jullien

Effect of polyelectrolytes on (de)stability of liquid foam films
Heiko Fauser and Regine von Klitzing

Read the full issue here

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Kathleen Stebe joins the Soft Matter Editorial Board

Kathleen Stebe joins Soft Matter Editorial Board

We are delighted that Professor Kathleen Stebe has joined the Soft Matter Editorial Board as an Associate Editor.

Kathleen J. Stebe received a B.A. in Economics from the City College of New York, Magna cum Laude, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Levich Institute, also at CCNY, under the guidance of Charles Maldarelli. Thereafter, she spent a post-doctoral year at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne with Dominique Barthès-Biesel. Professor Stebe joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, where she rose through the ranks to become Professor and department chair. In 2008, Professor Stebe joined the University of Pennsylvania as the Richer and Elizabeth M. Goodwin Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, where she has served as the department chair and currently serves as the Deputy Dean for Research.

Professor Stebe has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies; she has received the Robert S. Pond Excellence in Teaching Award at JHU, the Frenkiel Award from the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society, and was named a Fellow of the APS.

Professor Stebe’s research focuses on capillary phenomena, including anisotropic particles interaction and assembly at interfaces and within complex fluids, including liquid crystals and lipid bilayers. She is an expert on interfacial flows, with particular emphasis on how surfactants can be used to direct stresses at interfaces and to alter drop break up modes. Other aspects of her research address dynamic surface tension, rheology of protein laden interfaces, and the design of interfaces and bounding surfaces for biological and materials applications.

To find out more about Professor Stebe’s research, take a look at these recent papers:

Marcello Cavallaro Jr, Mohamed A. Gharbi, Daniel A. Beller, Simon Čopar, Zheng Shi, Randall D. Kamien, Shu Yang, Tobias Baumgart and Kathleen J. Stebe

Lorenzo Botto, Eric P. Lewandowski, Marcello Cavallaro and Kathleen J. Stebe

As a Soft Matter Associate Editor, Professor Stebe will be handling submissions to the journal. Why not submit your next paper to her Editorial Office?
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Poster Prize winner at the 9th Liquid Matter Conference

9th Liquid Matter Conference

Congratulations to Susan James (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) who was awarded a Soft Matter poster prize at Liquids 2014, held in Lisbon, Portugal on 21-25th July 2014. Her winning poster was entitled ‘Effect of mutagenesis on the phase transitions of human gamma-D crystallin’.

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HOT articles for August!

Thermal transitions in hydrated layer-by-layer assemblies observed using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
Choonghyun Sung, Katelin Hearn and Jodie Lutkenhaus

Graphical abstract: Thermal transitions in hydrated layer-by-layer assemblies observed using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy


Structural and mechanical characteristics of polymersomes
Hung-Yu Chang, Yu-Jane Sheng and Heng-Kwong Tsao

Graphical abstract: Structural and mechanical characteristics of polymersomes

These articles are free to access until 5th September 2014

 


Crystallizing hard-sphere glasses by doping with active particles
Ran Ni, Martien A. Cohen Stuart, Marjolein Dijkstra and Peter G. Bolhuis  

Graphical abstract: Crystallizing hard-sphere glasses by doping with active particles

Phase transitions in supported lipid bilayers studied by AFM
Andrea Alessandrini and Paolo Facci

Graphical abstract: Phase transitions in supported lipid bilayers studied by AFM

These articles are free to access until 11th September 2014


Prediction and validation of diffusion coefficients in a model drug delivery system using microsecond atomistic molecular dynamics simulation and vapour sorption analysis
Christopher Forrey, David M. Saylor, Joshua S. Silverstein, Jack F. Douglas, Eric M. Davis and Yossef A. Elabd

Graphical abstract: Prediction and validation of diffusion coefficients in a model drug delivery system using microsecond atomistic molecular dynamics simulation and vapour sorption analysis

 
Biobased building blocks for the rational design of renewable block polymers
Angela L. Holmberg, Kaleigh H. Reno, Richard P. Wool and Thomas H. Epps, III 

Graphical abstract: Biobased building blocks for the rational design of renewable block polymers

These articles are free to access until 18th September 2014


 
Highly ordered 2D microgel arrays: compression versus self-assembly
Karen Geisel, Walter Richtering and Lucio Isa  

Graphical abstract: Highly ordered 2D microgel arrays: compression versus self-assembly
Evidence for equilibrium gels of valence-limited particles
Nikola A. Dudukovic and Charles F. Zukoski

Graphical abstract: Evidence for equilibrium gels of valence-limited particles

These articles are free to access until 25th September 2014


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