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Soft Matter

Purbarun Dhar, Lakshmi Sirisha Maganti, A R Harikrishnan
Electrorheological (ER) fluids are known to exhibit enhanced viscous effects under an electric field stimulus. The present article reports the hitherto unreported phenomenon of greatly enhanced thermal conductivity in such electro-active colloidal dispersions in the presence of an externally applied electric field. Typical ER fluids are synthesized employing dielectric fluids and nanoparticles and experiments are performed employing an in-house designed setup. Greatly augmented thermal conductivity under a field's influence was observed...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Guy Ochbaum, Maya Davidovich-Pinhas, Ronit Bitton
Alginate, a polysaccharide that gels in the presence of divalent ions, has been used in the field of regenerative medicine to facilitate cell growth in impaired tissues by providing an artificial bio-surrounding similar to the natural extra cellular matrix (ECM). Here, we present a systematic investigation of the effect of three arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD)-containing peptides, G6KRGDY, A6KRGDY and V6KRGDY, on the physical properties of alginate-peptide hydrogels. Rheology measurements showed that the storage modulus of the alginate-A6KRGDY and alginate-V6KRGDY gels is an order of magnitude higher than that of the alginate-G6KRGDY gel...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Haiyang Zhao, Xizhong An, Dazhao Gou, Bo Zhao, Runyu Yang
The discrete element method (DEM) was used to simulate the piling of rod-like (elongated sphero-cylindrical) particles, mainly focusing on the effect of particle shape on the structural and force properties of the piles. In this work, rod-like particles of different aspect ratios were discharged on a flat surface to form wedge-shaped piles. The surface properties of the piles were characterized in terms of angle of repose and stress at the bottom of the piles. The results showed that the rise of the angle of repose became slower with the increase of particle aspect ratio...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Pouriya Bayat, Pouya Rezai
One of the common operations in sample preparation is to separate specific particles (e.g. target cells, embryos or microparticles) from non-target substances (e.g. bacteria) in a fluid and to wash them into clean buffers for further processing like detection (called solution exchange in this paper). For instance, solution exchange is widely needed in preparing fluidic samples for biosensing at the point-of-care and point-of-use, but still conducted via the use of cumbersome and time-consuming off-chip analyte washing and purification techniques...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Yipin Duan, Chao Wang, Mengmeng Zhao, Bryan D Vogt, Nicole S Zacharia
Ternary complexes formed in a single pot process through the mixing of cationic (branched polyethylenimine, BPEI) and anionic (graphene oxide, GO, and poly(acrylic acid), PAA) aqueous solutions exhibit superior mechanical performance in comparison to their binary analogs. The composition of the ternary complex can be simply tuned through the composition of the anionic solution, which influences the water content and mechanical properties of the complex. Increasing the PAA content in the complex decreases the overall water content due to improved charge compensation with the BPEI, but this change also significantly improves the toughness of the complex...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
German Alberto Parada, Xuanhe Zhao
In this article we introduce the concept of ideal reversible polymer networks, which have well-controlled polymer network structures similar to ideal covalent polymer networks but exhibit viscoelastic behaviors due to the presence of reversible crosslinks. We first present a theory to describe the mechanical properties of ideal reversible polymer networks. Because short polymer chains of equal length are used to construct the network, there are no chain entanglements and the chains' Rouse relaxation time is much shorter than the reversible crosslinks' characteristic time...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Yong-Lei Wang, You-Liang Zhu, Zhong-Yuan Lu, Aatto Laaksonen
Computer simulations provide a unique insight into the microscopic details, molecular interactions and dynamic behavior responsible for many distinct physicochemical properties of ionic liquids. Due to the sluggish and heterogeneous dynamics and the long-ranged nanostructured nature of ionic liquids, coarse-grained meso-scale simulations provide an indispensable complement to detailed first-principles calculations and atomistic simulations allowing studies over extended length and time scales with a modest computational cost...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Brendan Dyett, Akihito Kiyama, Maaike Rump, Yoshiyuki Tagawa, Detlef Lohse, Xuehua Zhang
Solvent exchange is a simple solution-based process to produce surface nanodroplets over a large area. The final size of the droplets is determined by both the flow and solution conditions for a given substrate. In this work, we investigate the growth dynamics of surface nanodroplets during solvent exchange by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF). The results show that during the solvent exchange, the formation of surface nanodroplets advanced on the surface in the direction of the flow...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Rohit Nikam, Xiao Xu, Matthias Ballauff, Matej Kanduč, Joachim Dzubiella
Macromolecules based on dendritic or hyperbranched polyelectrolytes have been emerging as high potential candidates for biomedical applications. Here we study the charge and solvation structure of dendritic polyglycerol sulphate (dPGS) of generations 0 to 3 in aqueous sodium chloride solution by explicit-solvent molecular dynamics computer simulations. We characterize dPGS by calculating several important properties such as relevant dPGS radii, molecular distributions, the solvent accessible surface area, and the partial molecular volume...
May 21, 2018: Soft Matter
Arjan P H Gelissen, Andrea Scotti, Sarah K Turnhoff, Corinna Janssen, Aurel Radulescu, Andrij Pich, Andrey A Rudov, Igor I Potemkin, Walter Richtering
To realize carriers for drug delivery, cationic containers are required for anionic guests. Nevertheless, the toxicity of cationic carriers limits their practical use. In this study, we investigate a model system of polyampholyte N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM)-based microgels with a cationic core and an anionic shell to study whether the presence of a negative shell allows the cationic core to be shielded while still enabling the uptake and release of the anionic guest polyelectrolytes. These microgels are loaded with polystyrene sulfonate of different molecular weights to investigate the influence of their chain length on the uptake and release process...
May 18, 2018: Soft Matter
Dong Meng, Kai Zhang, Sanat K Kumar
Molecular Dynamics simulations are used to understand the underpinning basis of the transport of gas-like solutes in deeply quenched polymeric glasses. As found in previous work, small solutes, with sizes smaller than 0.15 times the chain monomer size, move as might be expected in a medium with large pores. In contrast, the motion of larger solutes is activated and is strongly facilitated by matrix motion. In particular, solute motion is coupled to the local elastic fluctuations of the matrix as characterized by the Debye-Waller factor...
May 18, 2018: Soft Matter
Ruiqing Wu, Jingjuan Lai, Yi Pan, Zhaohui Zheng, Xiaobin Ding
To enable shape-memory polymer networks to achieve recoverable high deformability with a simultaneous high shape-fixity ratio and shape-recovery ratio, novel semi-crystalline slide-ring shape-memory polycaprolactone-based polyurethane (SR-SMPCLU) with movable net-points constructed by a topologically interlocked slide-ring structure was designed and fabricated. The SR-SMPCLU not only exhibited good shape fixity, almost complete shape recovery, and a fast shape-recovery speed, it also showed an outstanding recoverable high-strain capacity with 95...
May 17, 2018: Soft Matter
Bao-Quan Ai, Zhi-Gang Shao, Wei-Rong Zhong
We study a binary mixture of polar chiral (counterclockwise or clockwise) active particles in a two-dimensional box with periodic boundary conditions. Besides the excluded volume interactions between particles, the particles are also subjected to the polar velocity alignment. From the extensive Brownian dynamics simulations, it is found that the particle configuration (mixing or demixing) is determined by the competition between the chirality difference and the polar velocity alignment. When the chirality difference competes with the polar velocity alignment, the clockwise particles aggregate in one cluster and the counterclockwise particles aggregate in the other cluster; thus, the particles are demixed and can be separated...
May 17, 2018: Soft Matter
Xiaorui Zheng, Binke Ning, Chao Xue, Lieping Wang, Wei Wang, Kangyun Liu, Xiao-Ying Huang, Yadong Liu
A new platinum(ii) complex containing a quaternary ammonium group was synthesized. The monomer and excimer emission of the complex could be tuned via the solvophobic effect, which was accompanied by transformation from a fiber to ribbon-like morphology.
May 17, 2018: Soft Matter
Yingna Zhang, Hui Tang, Peiyi Wu
The thermal-induced phase transition behavior of a LCST-type poly(ionic liquid) (PIL) aqueous solution with gemini-cationic structure, poly[(1,8-octanediyl-bis(tri-n-butylphosphonium)4-styrene sulfonate)] (P[SS-P2]), was investigated in this paper. Based on the calorimetric measurements, a unique dependence of transition points on concentration was found in P[SS-P2] aqueous solution compared to its mono-cationic PIL and [SS-P2] aqueous solution. Optical microscopy showed that globular microscopic droplets were formed during the phase transition, suggesting that gemini dications and the possible dynamic ionic bonds may facilitate the liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) in P[SS-P2] aqueous solution...
May 16, 2018: Soft Matter
C Patrick Royall
We review efforts to realise so-called mermaid (or short-ranged attraction/long ranged repulsion) interactions in 3d real space. The repulsive and attractive contributions to these interactions in charged colloids and colloid-polymer mixtures, may be accurately realised, by comparing particle-resolved studies with colloids to computer simulation. However, when we review work where these interactions have been combined, despite early indications of behaviour consistent with predictions, closer analysis reveals that in the non-aqueous systems used for particle-resolved studies, the idea of summing the attractive and repulsive components leads to wild deviations with experiment...
May 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Chengfeng Wu, Yingzhi Jin, Dahua Li, Lan Ding, Yuzhi Xing, Kaicheng Zhang, Bo Song
Here, we report separately enhanced dual emissions of the amphiphilic derivative of 2-(2'-hydroxyphenyl)benzothiazole (denoted as HBT-11) by supramolecular complexation with cyclodextrins (CDs). When dispersed in water, HBT-11 shows two relatively weak emission bands, which can be assigned to the emissions of enol- and keto-forms, the two tautomers, owing to excited-state intramolecular proton transfers. Upon the addition of α-CD and β-CD, the keto- and enol-emissions, respectively, are separately enhanced; the enhancement effect is due to the formation of HBT-11/α-CD and HBT-11/β-CD complexes through multiple hydrogen bonding and host-guest interactions, respectively...
May 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Lei Wu, Guoyong Mao, Guodong Nian, Yuhai Xiang, Jin Qian, Shaoxing Qu
Load-bearing applications of hydrogels call for materials with excellent mechanical properties. Despite the considerable progress in developing tough hydrogels, there is still a requirement to prepare high-performance hydrogels using simple strategies. In this paper, a sponge-reinforced hydrogel composite is synthesized by combining poly(acrylamide) (PAAm) hydrogel and polyurethane (PU) sponge. Uniaxial compressive testing of the hydrogel composites reveals that both the compressive modulus and the strength of the hydrogel composites are much higher than those of the PAAm hydrogel or sponge...
May 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Christian Rossner, Qiyun Tang, Marcus Müller, Gerald Kothleitner
The preparation of nanoparticles and their targeted connection with other functional units is one key challenge in developing nanoscale devices. Herein, we report an experimental strategy toward the development of anisotropic nanoparticle architectures. Our approach is based on phase separation of binary mixed polymer brushes on gold nanoparticle surfaces leading to Janus-type structures, as revealed by scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy and, additionally, corroborated by computer simulation...
May 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Christos N Likos, Joakim Stenhammar
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 16, 2018: Soft Matter
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