Tiny bubbles made easier

Shrinking the microbubbles needed for ultrasound with microfluidics

Researchers in Canada have shrunk bubbles to single-micrometre diameters, suitable for use in ultrasound.

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry
Bubbles shrink down to 1–7µm in diameter as they flow through the device’s serpentine microchannel

Microbubbles are commonly used in ultrasound imaging as they improve the visual distinction between blood and surrounding tissues. Bubbles are injected intravenously, and under ultrasound they are excited at their resonant frequency. This resonance means they scatter a much higher proportion of the ultrasound than the surrounding tissues, allowing clear imaging of blood vessels.

The bubbles needed for ultrasound are around 2µm in diameter. Current microfluidic techniques cannot produce bubbles this small, and the techniques used to generate these microbubbles generally use physical agitation or shearing. The bubbles produced often have a large size distribution, and filtration is needed to separate out those suitable for use.


Read the full story by Laura Fisher in Chemistry World.


This article is free to access until 24 May 2017

V Gnyawali et al, Soft Matter, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00128B

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Ring Polymers Workshop 2017

The Ring Polymers Workshop, which takes place from 25-27 September in Hersonissos, Crete, will discuss recent advances and applications in the field of ring polymers. The format of the workshop will include invited and contributed (oral and poster) presentations, as well as ample time for both formal and informal discussions.

Invited speakers include:

For a full list of invited speakers please click here.

Early bird registration ends 10 May – to register now or book accommodation, visit the ring polymers website.

 

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13th International Conference on Materials Chemistry

The 13th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC13), which is the flagship event of the RSC’s Materials Chemistry Division, will take place from 10-13 July at the ACC Liverpool, UK.

Themes to be covered include:

  • Energy and environment
  • Magnetic, electronic and optical materials
  • Materials design
  • Nanomaterials
  • Soft matter and biomaterials

Plenary speakers confirmed:

Poster submission deadline is 1st May – click here to submit now or visit the MC13 website for more information.

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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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