Archive for January, 2011

International Year of Chemistry

Nanoparticles for cancer drug delivery and detection

Last week saw the launch of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) 2011 in Paris. The theme of the year is to emphasis the importance of chemistry for sustainable development in all aspects of human life. Chemistry has an important role in solving some of the major challenges facing the world, such as human health, food security, providing clean water, energy and sustainable development. This is highlighted in the most recent issues of Soft Matter with articles on the development of nanoparticles for cancer applications, devices for the controlled release of pheromones with potential applications in the agricultural industry and highly functional renewable nanomaterials.

A further goal of the IYC is to promote Women in chemistry. 2011 is the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s receipt of the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Many events are planned throughout 2011 to celebrate chemistry. Many of the activities are aimed at catching the attention and imagination of the younger generation. In Canada a video contest has been launched for school students. The aim is to produce a short chemistry related You-Tube video. The prize is a $2500 scholarship for further education.

In the UK, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) announced the biggest global experiment which will take place on the 22nd June. Children across the world are encouraged to take part in an experiment into the properties and quality of water. More information can be found on the RSC website.

Further information of the events can be found on the RSC website and the IYC website (I have had some trouble accessing their website).  Events are being organised worldwide in countries including India, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, America, Canada and across Europe.

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Soft Matter, 2011, Issue 3

Front and inside front covers for Soft Matter issue 6.

The outside front cover features a communication by Swapnil Rohidas Jadhav, Bor-Sen Chiou, Delilah F. Wood, Gloria DeGrande-Hoffman, Gregory M. Glenn and George John titled: Molecular gels-based controlled release devices for pheromones (Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 864-867). The communication demonstrates the usefulness of molecular gels for the controlled release of pheromones, which could find applications in the agricultural industry.

Outside back cover for Soft Matter issue 3Cybotaxis dominates the nematic phase of bent-core mesogens: a small-angle diffuse X-ray diffraction study by Oriano Francescangeli, Francesco Vita, Claudio Ferrero, Theo Dingemans and Edward T. Samulski (Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 895-901) is highlighted on the inside front cover.

The back cover showcases the work of Jeong-A Yang, Hyemin Kim, Kitae Park and Sei Kwang Hahn and their communication Molecular design of hyaluronic acid hydrogel networks for long-term controlled delivery of human growth hormone. (Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 868-870)

You can read the full issue here.

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Hot Article: Pattern Formation in Belousov-Zhabotinsky Responsive Gels

The dependence of pattern formation in hydrogels undergoing the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction on the gel size and shape is presented in a recent Soft Matter paper for an upcoming themed issue on Active Soft Matter.

The authors use both experimental and simulation approaches to validate their own theoretical model on the chemomechanical coupling in responsive gels.

Patterin Formation in hydrogels

Read this Soft Matter article for free (until February 24, 2011) here, and watch out for other papers like this in the upcoming themed issue on Active Soft Matter.

Irene Chou Chen, Olga Kuksenok, Victor V. Yashin, Ryan M. Moslin, Anna C. Balazs and Krystyn J. Van Vliet, Soft Matter, 2011, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01007C, Paper

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Hot Article: Supramolecular assembly of glycyrrhetinic acid conjugates form dimers that can host a guest molecule

In a recent communication, triterpenoids are used as scaffolds in supramolecular self-assembly and recognition. Conjugates of mSynthesis and Self-Assembly Properties of A Glycyrrhetinic Acid Conjugate Containing Uracil and 2,6-Diaminopyridine Unitsolecules based on glycyrrhetinic acid form dimers held together through 6-hydrogen bonding pairs. The supramolecular dimeric structure was able to recognise and encapsulate polar molecules in aprotic solvents through its suitably sized cavity.

This unique dimer may have the potential to encage molecules with medicinal activity, and thus be used as a novel biomaterial.
Read this Soft Matter article for free (until February 24, 2011) here.

Jun Hu, Jinrong Lu, Ruofan Li and Yong Ju, Soft Matter, 2011, (Advance Article), DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01392G, Communication

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Top Ten most-read Soft Matter articles in December

The latest top ten most downloaded Soft Matter articles

See the most-read papers of December 2010 here:

Laura J. Cote, Jaemyung Kim, Zhen Zhang, Cheng Sun and Jiaxing Huang, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 6096-6101
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00667J
 
Yuhan Lee, Hyun Jung Chung, Sangho Yeo, Cheol-Hee Ahn, Haeshin Lee, Phillip B. Messersmith and Tae Gwan Park, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 977-983
DOI: 10.1039/B919944F
 
Xuyan Yang, Yin-Yin Tong, Zi-Chen Li and Dehai Liang, Soft Matter, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00257G
 
Ammathnadu S. Achalkumar, Richard J. Bushby and Stephen D. Evans, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 6036-6051
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00030B
 
Oliver Bäumchen and Karin Jacobs, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 6028-6035
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00078G
 
Lingxiang Jiang, Yu Peng, Yun Yan and Jianbin Huang, Soft Matter, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00917B
 
Alfredo González-Pérez, Valeria Castelletto, Ian W. Hamley and Pablo Taboada, Soft Matter, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00711K
 
Monojoy Goswami, Bobby G. Sumpter, Tianzi Huang, Jamie M. Messman, Samuel P. Gido, A. I. Isaacs-Sodeye and Jimmy W. Mays, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 6146-6154
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00733A
 
Hyun-Kwan Yang, A. Evren Özçam, Kirill Efimenko and Jan Genzer, Soft Matter, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00928H
 
Andreas Bernet, Marina Behr and Hans-Werner Schmidt, Soft Matter, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00456A

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RSC Prizes and Awards – only 11 days left to nominate!

Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution to advancing the chemical sciences?

Our Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. Winners receive up to £5000 and a medal or inscribed memento.
Showcase inspiring science and gain the recognition deserved – Nominate yourself or a colleague. 

Nomination categories include:

Analytical Chemistry
Biosciences
Education
Environment, Sustainability & Energy
Industry & Technology
Inorganic Chemistry
Materials Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry

Nominations close 31 January 2011

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Hot Article: Measuring the Mechanics of Red Blood Cells

The question of ‘active’ or ‘passive’ mechanisms for red blood cell flickering (or vibratory motion), currently under debate, is investigated in a recent publication.

Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are a useful model for understanding cell mechanics. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have recently examined the response of erythrocytes to external stress with the help of optical traps and high-speed video imaging.

Read this Soft Matter article for free until 15 Feb, 2011 here!

Young Zoon Yoon, Jurij Kotar, Aidan T. Brown and Pietro Cicuta, Soft Matter, 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01117G, (Advance Article).

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Hot Article: Adsorption mechanism of single amino acid and surfactant molecules to Au {111} surfaces in aqueous solution: design rules for metal-binding molecules

To help develop metal binding molecules for nanoscale electronics, sensors, and biomedical devices, a team based in the USA has investigated the adsorption of amino acids and surfactants onto a gold surface. Using molecular dynamics simulations, the team investigated the mechanism and strength of the interactions. They say that the adsorption strength correlates with the degree of coordination of polarizable atoms (O, N, C) to multiple epitaxial sites, and therefore, the molecular size and geometry rather than the specific chemistry determine the adsorption energy.

Graphical abstract: Adsorption mechanism of single amino acid and surfactant molecules to Au {111} surfaces in aqueous solution: design rules for metal-binding molecules

Fancy knowing more? Read the article for free until 15th February 2011. 

Jie Feng, Ras B. Pandey, Rajiv J. Berry, Barry L. Farmer, Rajesh R. Naik and Hendrik Heinz, Soft Matter, 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01118E (Advance Article)Follow Soft Matter on Twitter

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Hot Article: Cubic crystals from cubic colloids

The crystallization behavior of colloidal cubes has been studied using tunable depletion interactions by a team at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and New York University, USA. The team found that under certain conditions the cubes self-organize into crystals with a simple cubic symmetry, which is set by the size of the depletant.

Graphical abstract: Cubic crystals from cubic colloids

Read the article for free until the 14th February: Laura Rossi, Stefano Sacanna, William T. M. Irvine, Paul M. Chaikin, David J. Pine and Albert P. Philipse, Soft Matter, 2011, DOI:10.1039/C0SM01246G (Advance Article)Follow Soft Matter on Twitter

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Jian Ping Gong and Sam Safran join the Soft Matter Editorial Board

Photograph of 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.

Photograph of Jian Ping Gong Jian Ping Gong is a professor of the Faculty of Advanced Life Science at Hokkaido University, Japan. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in physics from Zhejiang University, China, and received her Master’s degree in polymer science from Ibaraki University, Japan. She studied high Tc superconductors at Tokyo Institute of Technology where she gained her Doctor of Engineering. She joined the faculty at the Hokkaido University in 1993, where she received her Doctor of Science. Gong presently is concentrating on the research of novel hydrogels with high mechanical performances, such as high toughness, low surface friction, shock-absorbing, self-healing, and the application of the hydrogels as bio-tissues.

A full list of Editorial Board members is available here.

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