Mechanical Forces in Biology 2017

 

The Mechanical Forces in Biology symposium, which takes place at EMBL Heidelberg from 12-15 July, aims to unite the field of mechanobiology, by bringing together world-leading experts in the generation and sensing of forces from the molecular scale to the organismal scale, with an important emphasis on the combination of physics and computer modelling with molecular genetics and live-imaging in vitro or in vivo.

The field is currently expanding rapidly and the event aims to provide a comprehensive overview of this progress as well as aiming to capitalise on the opportunities for new collaborations. Topics covered in the symposium include: force generation; mechanosensing; mechanotransduction; cellular morphogenesis and tissue morphogenesis.

Keynote speakers confirmed:

Registration is open until 31 May and abstract submission ends 19 April – click here to enter now or visit the website for further information.

 

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UK Colloids 2017

 

This is the third colloid science conference in this series and will be held at Manchester Central from 10-12 July 2017. It is being jointly organised by the RSC Colloid and Interface Science Group and the SCI Colloid and Surface Science Group and will provide a perfect opportunity for UK and international researchers interested in colloid and interface science to meet, present and discuss issues related to current developments in this field.

Confirmed plenary speakers include:

The deadline for abstract submission is 18 April – click here to submit now and visit the website for full programme updateslist of speakers and further information.

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Nanotubes make Kevlar armour smarter

Conducting composite senses damage and stiffens on impact

Chinese scientists have used conducting carbon nanotubes and impact-responsive polymers to create a smart Kevlar composite with enhanced ballistic and stab resistance. Body armour made from this material could sense the force and location of impacts, and detect when it has been pierced.

Flexible, lightweight and durable, Kevlar has been a key component in personal armour for decades. It has excellent stab and cut resistance, making it the primary component in police stab vests, also offering limited protection against small arms fire.

 

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
Scanning electron microscopy images showing regular Kevlar (a, b) and the improved version with different shear-stiffening polymer/Kevlar ratios (c: 4.8 weight% polymer; f: 84 weight% polymer)

The problem with Kevlar’s flexibility is that when it stops a bullet, the energy is still transferred directly to the wearer at the point of impact, which causes trauma – imagine being punched at the speed of a bullet! For military applications, where Kevlar would not stand up to high-velocity rifle rounds, it is often combined with heavier steel or ceramic plates to spread the impact over a larger area.


Read the full story by Will Bergius in Chemistry World.


This article is free to access until 17 May 2017.

S Wang et al, Soft Matter, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/c7sm00095b

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Thermodynamics 2017

 

The Thermodynamics 2017 conference, held at the John McIntyre Conference Centre will be the 25th meeting in a series of biennial thermodynamics conferences initiated in 1964 by Harold Springall, championed throughout the 1960s and 1970s by Max McGlashan and Sir John Rowlinson.

The format of the conference is based on invited lectures, oral presentations, short presentations and poster prizes, supported by Soft Matter. A number of awards will be given to recognised researchers and young scientists. The conference aims to attract about 200 researchers and presenters from academia and industry from around the world. In 2017, the main themes of the conference will include Advances in molecular simulation; Interfacial and confined phenomena; Engineered self-assembly; Carbon capture and other industrial applications; Non-equilibrium thermodynamics; Challenges and advances in fluid phase equilibria.

Plenary speakers confirmed:

Prof. Debra Bernhardt (University of Queensland, Australia)

Prof. Pablo Debenedetti (Princeton University, USA)

Prof. Ruth Lynden-Bell (University of Cambridge, UK)

Dr Francois-Xavier Coudert (Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris, France)

Prof. Martin Trusler (Imperial College London, UK)

Prof. Carlos Vega (University Complutense of Madrid, Spain)

Prof. Nigel Wilding (University of Bath, UK)

Registration and abstract submission is now open – click here to register, or find out more on the Thermodynamics website.

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Twisted 2017

Image result for twisted conference 2017

10-12 May, 2017, University of Luxembourg

Soft Matter is pleased to support Twisted, a two-day conference on the physics, chemistry and applications of cholesteric lyotropic liquid crystals developing in colloidal suspensions of chiral nanorods.

The motivation for the conference is the rapidly growing interest in liquid crystals formed by nanocrystals of cellulose or chitin, filamentous viruses, carbon nanotubes and similar rod-like nanoparticles in suspensions in water or other isotropic solvents, and topics will be covered in four sessions:

  1. Advanced materials derived from chiral nanorods (keynote speaker: Mark MacLachlan)
  2. Theory and simulations of cholesteric phases (keynote speaker: Mark Wilson)
  3. Chiral nanorod suspensions: from particle tuning to self-assembly (keynote speaker: Derek Gray)
  4. The route to applications (keynote speaker: Silvia Vignolini)

Confirmed invited speakers include:

There are also 12 slots for contributed talks and two poster sessions. See the program for full details.

 

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Congratulations to the Soft Matter award winners at GelSympo2017

The 11th International Gel Symposium was held at Nihon University in Chiba, Japan last week, and Soft Matter would like to congratulate the following, who were awarded prizes for their poster presentations:

 

Ai Saito (Graduate School of Chem. Sci. and Eng., Hokkaido University)
Role of concentration of microtubule and a depletant in the emergence of collective motion of microtubules driven by kinesins

Gantumur Enkhtuul (Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University)
Cytocompatible hydrogelation through enzymatic cross-linking mediated by glucose and cysteine residues in the enzyme

Gargi Joshi (Energy and Environment Area, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
Directional control of diffusion and swelling in hydrogels prepared from cyanobacterial exopolysaccharide

Kateryna Khairulina (School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, The University of Tokyo)
Mobility of low molecular weight compounds in tetra-PEG-graphene oxide hydrogels

Koki Sano (Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, The University of Tokyo)
Ultralarge mechanical anisotropy of a hydrogel with aligned nanosheets

Michika Onoda (School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)
Artificial amoeba: Self-oscillating polymeric fluids with autonomous sol-gel transition

Takahiro Matsuda (Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University)
Mechanical stress triggers productive mechanochemical reactions in double network gels

Takuma Kureha (Graduate School of Textile Science & Technology, Shinshu University)
Selective adsorption of halide compounds from aqueous solution by poly(2-methoxyethylacrylate)-based hydrogel microspheres

Yasushi Shojima (Graduate School of Science, Osaka University)
Dissimilar solid materials binding with self-healable supramolecular materials through host-guest interaction

 

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Shape memory polymers get a grip

Controlled curling – a new way to go from flat to 3D

Researchers in the US have developed a new way to curl polymer sheets to create a variety of 3D structures.

Shape memory polymers change shape in response to external stimuli such as light and heat. Chemists add active materials to polymer sheets, which then deform on stimulation. Usually the active materials are placed in regions where curvature is desired, but Michael Dickey, Jan Genzer and their colleagues at North Carolina State University have now shown they can deform regions adjacent to the active materials.

 

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry



Read the full story by Laura Fisher in Chemistry World.


This article is free to access until 14 April 2017.

A M Hubbard et al, Soft Matter, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/c7sm00088j

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McBain Medal: Assembly and pattern formation in complex soft materials

27 March 2017, SCI Belgrave Sq, London, UK

This one day meeting in London will focus on recent advances in colloid and interfacial science as a route to materials and processes with societal value, with distinguished speakers both from industry and academia. The meeting will close with the McBain Lecture, awarded annually by the RSC/SCI Joint Colloids Group to recognize a rising star in colloid and interface science.

This year’s awardee is Dr João Cabral from Imperial College London, for his outstanding work on the thermodynamics and assembly of colloid and polymer mixtures, and the design of functional materials via interfacial instabilities. An enthusiast of scattering, his team and collaborators have pioneered the use of neutron and X-rays to study flow processing of complex fluids in complex microfluidic flows.

To see the programme and register, click here

Registration from £10, 11am start.

Invited speakers:

  • Dr João Cabral (Imperial College London), McBain Lecture: “Interfacial instabilities in frontal photopolymerisation, microflow and complex fluid processing”
  • Prof Tom McLeish FRS (Durham University): “Molecular viscoelasticity in spaces of different dimensionality”
  • Prof Dame Julia Higgins FRS (Imperial College London): “Soft mixtures, thermodynamics and interfacial structures”
  • Dr Eric Robles (Procter & Gamble): “The Role of Colloid Chemistry in Every Breakthrough Innovation in Industry”
  • Dr Lionel Porcar (Institut Laue Langevin): “Recent advances in flow-SANS for colloidal and interfacial science”
  • Dr Alex Routh (University of Cambridge): “Strength development during consolidation in drying films”
  • Prof Sidney Nagel (University of Chicago): “Pattern formation”
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Outstanding Reviewers for Soft Matter in 2016

Following the success of Peer Review Week in September 2016 (dedicated to reviewer recognition) during which we published a list of our top reviewers, we are delighted to announce that we will continue to recognise the contribution that our reviewers make to the journal by announcing our Outstanding Reviewers each year.

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Soft Matter in 2016, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Dr Giorgio Cinacchi, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Dr Jens Elgeti, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Dr Wei Hong, Iowa State University
Professor M P Lettinga, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Dr Bo Li, University of Illinois
Dr Kaiqiang Liu, Shaanxi Normal University
Dr Benoit Loppinet, FORTH IESL
Dr Frank Snijkers, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Professor Jan Vermant, ETH Zurich
Dr Yilin Wang, Chinese Academy of Sciences

We would also like to thank the Soft Matter board and the journal community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre.

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Winners of the Soft Matter award at the Polymer Gel Symposium

16-17th Jan 2017, Tokyo, Japan

The 28th Symposium organized by the Research Group on Polymer Gels, The Society of Polymer Science, Japan was held on 16,17th January 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.


This is the third year in a row that Soft Matter supported this event, which has been continuously very well received.

The winners of the price will receive a free subscription to Soft Matter.


On the image, from the left

  • Prof. Hidemitsu Furukawa (Yamagata University) conference organizer
  • Kenta Honma (The University of Tokyo)
  • Dr. Ryota Tamate (The University of Tokyo)
  • The other winners were awarded other poster/presentation awards
  • Mr Honma’s poster was titled: “Micro Patterning of the Self-Oscillating Polymer Brush for Control of its Spatio-temporal Function

    Dr Tamate’s talk was titled: “Fabrication of self-oscillating colloidosomes undergoing cell-like complex shape oscillations

    Congratulations to all winners!

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