Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hot article: How a water drop removes a particle from a hydrophobic surface

Have you ever wished for windows that clean themselves? One of the approaches to design such windows is to make them hydrophobic. On a hydrophobic surface, rain droplets will be more likely to roll over – taking the dirt particles with them. However, this process is not fully understood yet. Questions such as what happens when dirt and droplet collide, and what are the forces involved do not have a complete answer yet. Addressing such problems is of high importance both from a fundamental and applied point of view.

In this publication, the authors used an inverted confocal microscope to study the removal of dirt particles by a water drop deposited on a hydrophobic surface. The drop was held at a fixed position by a blade, while a dirt particle was moved at constant speed towards the drop. This setup allowed them to visualise the drop-particle collision, and measure the force acting on the drop during the collision, enabling the authors to assess the validity of existing models. The insights presented in the article contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved, paving the way towards a future enhancement of self-cleaning surfaces.

Comments from the authors:

  • When a drop collides with a particle on a surface, the drop successfully displaces the particle when the speed of the collision is low. Beyond a certain speed, the particle moves through the drop and leaves at its rear side.
  • The force responsible for displacing the particle is the surface tension (or capillary force), which acts when the particle is at the drop’s interface. Particles experience a negligible viscous force when inside a water drop, because of the low viscosity of water. That is, the force due to the flow inside the drop is insufficient to displace the particle.
  • The particle is displaced by the drop if the maximum capillary force that the drop can exert on the particle exceeds the resistive force that needs to be overcome to displace the particle over the surface.
  • The maximum capillary force depends on the material properties of the liquid and of the particle, as well as how the particle moves (whether it rolls or slides).
  • We developed a model which predicts that a rolling particle experiences a lower maximum capillary force than a sliding one.
  • We observed that the particle rolled when it was pulled by the drop. There are two main contributions to the resistive force experienced by a rolling particle: one from the surface and the other from the drop. The first contribution is due to viscoelastic dissipation in the PDMS surface and due to intermolecular forces between the particle and the surface. The second contribution is due to contact angle hysteresis as the particle rolls at the drop-air interface.
  • To maximise the chance of removing a particle from a surface using water drops, the resistive force experienced by the particle should be minimised. This can be achieved by lubricating the surface, or by coating it with a superhydrophobic material.

Citation to the paper: How a water drop removes a particle from a hydrophobic surface, Abhinav Naga, Anke Kaltbeitzel, William S. Y. Wong, Lukas Hauer, Hans-Jurgen Butt and Doris Vollmer. Soft Matter, 2021, 17, 1746. DOI: 10.1039/d0sm01925a.

To read the full article click here!

About the web writer

Dr Nacho Martin-Fabiani (@FabianiNacho) is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Materials Science at Loughborough University, UK.

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Hot article: Holographic immunoassays – direct detection of antibodies binding to colloidal spheres

Although probably not for the right reasons, in 2020 we have become fully familiarized with the detection of virus antibodies. One of the most widespread methods is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which generates billions of copies of any virus RNA present in the sample to reach enough antibody concentration to be detected. However, tests such as PCR require the use of reagents which are not necessarily cheap and an extra step to increase the concentration of the analyte to be able to detect it.

Image describing the work

In this publication, the authors propose an antibody detection method that does not require reagents and reduces the testing time. They calculate the concentration of antibodies by measuring very precisely the size of micrometric particles in the sample through the analysis of their holograms.  The change in size with respect to the original particle is attributed to the binding of antibodies to them. In addition to providing information on the antibody concentration, this technique can also provide insights into their binding mechanism to the surface of the particles – which are treated with proteins beforehand. Therefore, the replacement of these proteins for others could make these holographic assays targeted for specific diseases.

Comments from the authors:

  • Holographic immunoassays detect antibodies by watching them bind to the surfaces of specially functionalized colloidal spheres using holographic video microscopy.
  • A hologram of a micrometer-scale colloidal sphere can be analyzed with the Lorenz-Mie theory of light scattering to measure the sphere’s diameter with nanometer precision.
  • Comparing populations of spheres before and after incubating with a sample reveals a shift in the mean diameter that can be used to measure the concentration of the target analyte.
  • Direct detection through holographic analysis eliminates reagents and processing required for standard bead-based assays, and therefore reduces the cost, complexity and time for each test.
  • 20 minute measurements can detect the antibody IgG at concentrations as low as 10 μg/mL and IgM as low as 1 μg/mL.
  • Specialized tests for antibodies and virus particles can be programmed rapidly and cheaply by suitably functionalizing the colloidal test beads.

Citation to the paper: Holographic immunoassays – direct detection of antibodies binding to colloidal spheres, Kaitlynn Snyder, Rushna Quddus, Andrew D. Hollingsworth, Kent Kirshenbaumb and David G. Grier. Soft Matter, 2020. DOI: 10.1039/d0sm01351j.

To read the full article click here!

About the web writer

Dr Nacho Martin-Fabiani (@FabianiNacho) is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Materials Science at Loughborough University, UK.

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University of Vienna announces new Full Professorship in Experimental Soft Matter Physics

The University of Vienna are looking for an outstanding researcher with an internationally established record and reputation in the broad area of experimental soft condensed matter physics, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, or biological physics.

The research topics of interest include, without being limited to these: self-assembly behavior of soft matter in- and out-of equilibrium; phase transformations; novel soft and hybrid and composite materials; active systems; stochastic thermodynamics; rheology; and physics-oriented approach to biological systems. 

Applicants are expected to strengthen the existing research focus of the Faculty of Physics on soft matter, statistical mechanics and soft materials by conducting world-class research, by attracting competitive funding and by actively promoting collaboration with theoretical/computational soft matter groups of the Faculty of Physics.

For more details click here

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Congratulations to Soft Matter Award Winners at ICBZM2017

Soft Matter was proud to sponsor ICBZM2017, which took place this year in Tokyo, from the 18th to the 20th October. During the conference two Soft Matter Poster prizes were awarded.

Winners of the Soft Matter poster prize were;

 

Bowen Li (University of Washington), for his poster presentation on ‘Zwitterionic nanocages improve the safety and efficacy of biologic drugs’.

Bowen Li

Bowen Li with Prof. Shaoyi Jiang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary O’Kelly (University of Washington) for her poster presentation on ‘Self-healing ZI micro gels as a versatile platform material for malleable constructs and injectable therapies’.

 

Mary O'Kelly

Mary O’Kelly with Prof. Shaoyi Jiang

 

Congratulations to both Bowen and Mary!

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5th International Conference on Self-Healing Materials 2015 Oral Presentation Prize winner

Soft Matter oral presentation prize icshm2015

A huge congratulations to Arn Mignon who was awarded the Soft Matter Oral Presentation Prize at the 5th International Conference on Self-Healing Materials (ICSHM2015). The conference took place on the 22 – 24 June 2015 in Durham, USA and was sponsored by Soft Matter.

Arn Mignon is from Ghent University and won the Soft Matter Oral Presentation Prize with his talk titled “Smart super absorbent polymers for self-healing of motar.”

ICSHM2015 focussed on the newly emerging field of self-healing biomaterials, encompassing all classes of self-healing materials including polymers, ceramics, metals, and composites, as well as biomedical implants. Further details about the conference can be found by taking a look at their website.

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Soft Matter’s 2014 Impact Factor is 4.029

Soft Matter is delighted to announce its 2014 Impact Factor is 4.029.

Soft Matter has been dedicated to fundamental soft matter research at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology for the last 10 years. Its impressive Impact Factor of 4.029 is a strong assurance that Soft Matter is a leading journal within the soft matter field.

Our celebratory 10 year Anniversary collection exemplifies the kind of high impact, multidisciplinary soft matter science that Soft Matter aims to publish.

Our fast times to publication ensure that your research is reviewed and announced to the community rapidly.

From receipt, youresearch papers will be published in 63 days. (Data taken from average manuscript handling times between January – April 2015)

Publishing your research in Soft Matter means that your article will be read and cited by your colleagues.

Our unique combination of high quality articles, outstanding Editorial and Advisory Board, free colour and flexible manuscript format make it clear to see why Soft Matter is the leading journal within the soft matter field.

Our articles encompass a wide range of soft matter research and this is highlighted in these recent Soft Matter articles:

Stretching self-entangled DNA molecules in elongational fields
C. Benjamin Renner and Patrick S. Doyle
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3105-3114

A dynamic and self-crosslinked polysaccharide hydrogel with autonomous self-healing ability
Fuyuan Ding, Shuping Wu, Shishuai Wang, Yuan Xiong, Yan Li, Bin Li, Hongbing Deng, Yumin Du, Ling Xiao and Xiaowen Shi
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3971-3976

Domain walls and anchoring transitions mimicking nematic biaxiality in the oxadiazole bent-core liquid crystal C7
Young-Ki Kim, Greta Cukrov, Jie Xiang, Sung-Tae Shin and Oleg D. Lavrentovich
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3963-3970

Anisotropic colloidal transport and periodic stick-slip motion in cholesteric finger textures
Kui Chen, Linnea P. Metcalf, David P. Rivas, Daniel H. Reich and Robert L. Leheny
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 4189-4196

Phase separation in ternary fluid mixtures: a molecular dynamics study
Awaneesh Singh and Sanjay Puri
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2213-2219

Self-assembly of Janus particles under shear
Emanuela Bianchi, Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos and Arash Nikoubashman
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3767-3771

So join the many leading scientists that have already chosen to publish in Soft Matter and submit today!

Submit your research
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Recent Appointees in Materials Science 2015 Conference (RAMS2015)

Recent Appointees in Materials Science 2015 Conference RAMS

We are delighted to announce that the Recent Appointees in Materials Science 2015 Conference (RAMS2015) will be held at the University of Warwick on 16-17th September 2015.

Deadlines and dates

Registration will open shortly so be sure to sign up to this essential meeting before 1st September 2015! The cost of registration is £125 for accommodation and meals, including the conference banquet at Warwick Castle. A reduced rate of £70 is offered for those not requiring accommodation.

Abstract submissions are now being accepted for oral and poster presentation but make sure you submit your abstracts by the deadline on 30th June 2015.

Bursaries

A small number of bursaries are available for those with limited travel budgets and will be assessed on an individual basis. Enquire about bursaries here.

Keynote speakers

Biomaterials Science Advisory Board member Andrew Dove (University of Warwick) will be speaking along with other keynote speakers Aron Walsh (University of Bath) and Mary Ryan (Imperial College London). View the full list of invited speakers here.

For full details visit the RAMS2015 website. We hope you can join the materials science community for this fantastic event.

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2015 Soft Matter Lectureship is awarded to Lucio Isa

We are delighted to announce Professor Lucio Isa (ETH Zurich) as the 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship winner.

The Soft Matter Lectureship 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.

Read on to find out more about Lucio…

Lucio was presented with his 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship award at the end of his talk at the SoftComp Topical Workshop – Dense Suspension Flow held at the University of Edinburgh on 1-3 June 2015 by Soft Matter Associate Editor Dimitris Vlassopoulos.

Professor Dr Lucio Isa was born in Milan (Italy) in 1979. In 2004 he completed his university studies in Nuclear Engineering with a Mathematics and Physics specialisation at the Milan Polytechnic, obtaining a Master’s degree with honors (100/100 cum laude) with a research project on thermal diffusion of colloidal suspensions with Professor Roberto Piazza. He then moved on to obtain a PhD in Soft Matter Physics at the University of Edinburgh in 2008 (Professor Wilson Poon) where he worked on flow and deformation of dense colloidal glasses. His PhD work was awarded on two occasions (Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher 2007 Award and the British Society of Rheology 2008 Vernon Harrison Award for the most outstanding UK PhD rheology thesis in the academic year 2007/2008). After a short postdoctoral spell in Edinburgh, he moved to the Materials Department of ETH Zurich at the end of 2008 to work on self-assembled materials in the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (Professors Nicholas D. Spencer and Marcus Textor). During his time at ETH Zurich he was awarded a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, an SNSF travel grant as visiting scientist to the University of California Santa Barbara (Professor Todd Squires) and an SNSF Ambizione Fellowship aimed at studying various aspects of micro and nanoparticle self-assembly at liquid interfaces.

Since 1st September 2013 he has been head of the Laboratory for Interfaces, Soft matter and Assembly in the Department of Materials at ETH Zurich as SNSF Assistant Professor. His current interests revolve around the basic understanding of soft materials in terms of their structural, dynamical and mechanical properties, with a specific focus on single-particle wetting and on the rheology of colloidal monolayers and dense pastes. This basic understanding is then applied to the engineering of new materials and processes, including multifunctional colloids, optically active materials and surface nanopatterning.

Professor Isa is a co-founder of Swiss Soft Days, an initiative aimed at creating a national network of scientists working in Soft Matter in Switzerland. He has published 45 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals to date and he is the 2015 recipient of the Soft Matter Lectureship award.

Lucio’s most recent Soft Matter articles include:

A multiscale approach to the adsorption of core–shell nanoparticles at fluid interfaces
Adrienne Nelson, Dapeng Wang, Kaloian Koynov and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 118-129

Highly ordered 2D microgel arrays: compression versus self-assembly
Karen Geisel, Walter Richtering and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 7968-7976

Keep your eyes peeled for Lucio’s upcoming Soft Matter article in honour of the Lectureship award.

We would like to thank everybody who nominated a candidate for the Lectureship; we received many excellent nominations, and the Editorial Board had a difficult task in choosing between some outstanding candidates.

Please join us in congratulating Lucio in his fantastic achievements by adding your comments below.

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Soft Matter welcomes new Advisory Board members Bradley Olsen and Thomas Epps III

We are delighted to welcome two new Advisory Board members to the Soft Matter team: Bradley Olsen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Thomas Epps III (University of Delaware, USA).

Bradley Olsen Thomas Epps III Advisory Board Soft Matter

I hope you’ll join us in giving a warm welcome to Bradley and Thomas in their new posts as Soft Matter Advisory Board members.

Bradley Olsen’s interests lie in investigating the relationships between molecular structure and self-assembly, applying concepts from block copolymer assembly and polymer gels in order to understand complex biohybrid materials. His research endeavours to extend the capability of soft materials such as engineering plastics, energy converters, catalysts, and biomedical hydrogels. One of his recent articles will be featured as part of Soft Matter’s upcoming web collection to celebrate the journals 10th Anniversary.

Take a look at Bradley Olsen’s recent Soft Matter papers and learn more about his research:

Celebrating Soft Matter‘s 10th Anniversary: Chain configuration and rate-dependent mechanical properties in transient networks
Michelle K. Sing, Zhen-Gang Wang, Gareth H. McKinley and Bradley D. Olsen
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2085-2096

Coil fraction-dependent phase behaviour of a model globular protein–polymer diblock copolymer
Carla S. Thomas and Bradley D. Olsen
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 3093-3102

Thomas Epps III focusses on designing, synthesising, and characterising new polymeric materials exhibiting molecular level self-assembly. His research is applicable to a range of fields, such as battery and fuel cell membranes, analytical separations membranes, nanoscale containers and scaffolds for targeted drug delivery and surface responsive materials. His most recent Soft Matter article was highlighted as a Hot article and featured in the 2014 Soft Matter Hot Papers web collection.

Find out more about Thomas Epps III’s research by reading these recent articles:

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
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 7405-7424

Poly(methyl methacrylate-block-vinyl-m-triphenylamine): synthesis by RAFT polymerization and melt-state self-assembly
Sarah E. Mastroianni, Joseph P. Patterson, Rachel K. O’Reilly and Thomas H. Epps, III
Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 10146-10154

If you have enjoyed reading Bradley’s and Thomas’s recent articles, why not submit your next paper to Soft Matter?

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Leading Article by Soft Matter 2014 Lectureship Winner

Surface tension and the mechanics of liquid inclusions in compliant solids

Robert W. Style, John S. Wettlaufer, and Eric R. Dufresne

Dufresne et al. graphical abstract

This article proposes a theory of fluid inclusions in soft solids and builds upon experimental findings of a previous paper recently published in Nature Physics – “Stiffening solids with liquid inclusions” doi:10.1038/nphys3181 – which revealed that Eshelby’s foundational theory fails to describe the mechanical response of soft composites. Eshelby’s theory of elastic inclusions is significantly cited and outlines the response of microscopic inclusions within an elastic solid when macroscopically stress is applied. Furthermore, Eshelby’s theory allows the prediction of bulk properties and is fundamental in calculating the stress field in fracture mechanics. It has been widely used in many other areas such as cell biology to predict cell interactions and seismology.

The theoretical study aims to rationalise the experimental results from the previous paper and explain that they were due to the surface tension of the solid-liquid interface, which is completely ignored in established theory.

The work expands previous theories based on strain-dependent surface stresses, relevant to nanoinclusions in stiffer materials, but not for softer materials such as gels.

The group adapted Eshelby’s inclusion theory so that it included surface tension for liquid inclusions in a linear elastic solid, giving both the microscopic behaviour and the macroscopic effects of inclusions in composites. The authors believe that these findings can be applied to a wide variety of soft material systems, especially composites comprising of soft materials such as gels and elastomers.

Full citation information:

Surface tension and the mechanics of liquid inclusions in compliant solids
Robert W. Style, John S. Wettlaufer and Eric R. Dufresne
Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02413C

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