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Soft Matter

Qingyi Xie, Jiansen Pan, Chunfeng Ma, Guangzhao Zhang
Marine biofouling is a global problem today. High efficiency and eco-friendly antifouling systems are in pressing need. In recent years, we have proposed the concept of dynamic surface antifouling (DSA). That is, a continuously changing surface can effectively prevent marine fouling organisms from landing and adhesion. Based on this strategy, we developed coatings with dynamic surfaces by using degradable polymers including polyester-polyurethane, modified polyester and poly(ester-co-acrylate). They exhibit tunable renewability, and excellent antifouling and mechanical performance...
November 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Xinxing Lin, Wei Ma, Lihui Chen, Liulian Huang, Hui Wu, Atsushi Takahara
The removal of small water droplets from oils is imperative because oils can easily be contaminated or deteriorated by water during transportation, storage and usage. Here, we report superhydrophobic magnetic cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) nanoparticles, which are capable of removing tiny water droplets from oil by forming under oil particle-stabilized droplets. These particle-stabilized droplets can be collected and moved by a magnetic force, and self-healed upon damage by an external force.
November 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Renjie Chen, Ryan Poling-Skutvik, Michael P Howard, Arash Nikoubashman, Sergei A Egorov, Jacinta C Conrad, Jeremy C Palmer
The hierarchical structure and dynamics of polymer solutions control the transport of nanoparticles (NPs) through them. Here, we perform multi-particle collision dynamics simulations of solutions of semiflexible polymer chains with tunable persistence length lp to investigate the effect of chain stiffness on NP transport. The NPs exhibit two distinct dynamical regimes - subdiffusion on short time scales and diffusion on long time scales. The long-time NP diffusivities are compared with predictions from the Stokes-Einstein relation (SER), mode-coupling theory (MCT), and a recent polymer coupling theory (PCT)...
November 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Dongdong Lu, Mingning Zhu, Wenkai Wang, Shanglin Wu, Brian R Saunders, Daman J Adlam, Judith A Hoyland, Cornelius Hofzumahaus, Stefanie Schneider, Katharina Landfester
Microgels (MGs) are swellable crosslinked polymer colloids. They can also be used as the only building block to construct nanostructured hydrogels which are denoted as doubly crosslinked microgels (DX MGs). Here, new triply responsive DX MGs comprised of interlinked MGs of oligo(ethylene glycol)methacrylate (OEGMA), 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate (MEO2MA), methacrylic acid (MAA) and a o-nitrobenzyl-based UV photocleavable crosslinker are investigated. The MGs swelled or collapsed in response to temperature and pH changes...
November 16, 2018: Soft Matter
Andrei Bazarenko, Marcello Sega
Droplet transport in microfluidic channels by electrically induced flows often entails the simultaneous presence of electroosmosis and electrophoresis. Here we make use of coupled lattice-Boltzmann/molecular dynamics simulations to compute the mobility of a droplet in a microchannel under the effect of an external electric field. By varying the droplet solvation free energy of the counterions released at the channel walls, we observe the continuous transition between the electroosmotic and electrophoretic regime...
November 16, 2018: Soft Matter
M Foglino, A N Morozov, D Marenduzzo
Dense suspensions of soft colloidal particles display a broad range of physical and rheological properties which are still far from being fully understood. To elucidate the role of deformability on colloidal flow, we employ computer simulations to measure the apparent viscosity of a system of droplets of variable surface tension subjected to a pressure-driven flow. We confirm that our suspension generically undergoes discontinuous shear thinning, and determine the dependence of the onset of the discontinuity on surface tension...
November 15, 2018: Soft Matter
Arnab Dawn, Marzieh Mirzamani, Christopher D Jones, Dmitry S Yufit, Shuo Qian, Jonathan W Steed, Harshita Kumari
Supramolecular gel phase crystallization offers a new strategy for drug polymorph screening and discovery. In this method, the crystallization outcome depends on the interaction between solute and gel fibre. While supramolecular gels have shown success in producing new polymorphs and crystals with novel morphologies, role of the gel and nature of gel-solute interaction remains largely unexplored. The present study aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the structural evolution of a supramolecular gel produced from a bis(urea) based gelator (G) in the presence of a polymorphic drug carbamazepine (CBZ)...
November 15, 2018: Soft Matter
Efrat Ziv, David Attia, Gleb Vasilyev, Orit Mendelson, Eyal Zussman, Rachel Yerushalmi-Rozen
Dispersion of carbon nanotubes in solutions of polyvinyl-alcohol is required for solution casting of composite materials with improved interfacial adhesion where chains adsorbed on the nanotubes serve in the dual role of dispersant and compatible "connector" to the polyvinyl-alcohol matrix. Yet polyvinyl-alcohol is known to induce coagulation of nanotubes in aqueous solutions and thus far, it has not been used for dispersing pristine nanotubes. Here, we report that non-fully hydrolyzed (80-90%) polyvinyl-alcohol can be used for the preparation of stable, surfactant-free, dispersions of multi-wall carbon nanotubes in ethanol-water mixtures (of at least 50 vol% ethanol)...
November 15, 2018: Soft Matter
Rituparna Samanta, Venkat Ganesan
We employ a combination of the single chain in mean field simulation approach with the solution of Poisson's equation to study the influence of charge heterogeneities on the structure of protein-polyelectrolyte complexes. By adopting a coarse-grained model of representing proteins as charged nanoparticles, we studied the influence of the pattern of charge heterogeneities, net charge, ratio of positive to negative charges on the patches, and the volume fraction of the particles on the structural and aggregation characteristics of proteins in polyelectrolyte solutions...
November 15, 2018: Soft Matter
Shibo Zou, Daniel Therriault, Frédérick P Gosselin
Instability-assisted 3D printing is a method for producing microstructured fibers with sacrificial bonds and hidden lengths that mimic nature's toughening mechanisms found in spider silk. This hierarchical structure increases the effective toughness of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers by 240-340% in some specimens. Nevertheless, many specimens show worse toughness as low as 25% of that of the benchmark straight fiber due to the incomplete release of hidden lengths caused by premature failures. Here, we report the mechanical tests and simulations of microstructured fibers with coiling loops that identify the material plastic deformation as being crucial to fully release the hidden lengths...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Dominic Robe, Stefan Boettcher
We present results for the aging dynamics of a dense 2D colloidal system obtained with molecular dynamics simulations. To this end, systems are quenched to densities far above the glass transition with relaxation time scales that used to be prohibitive for such a comprehensive study. We performed extensive simulations to gather detailed statistics about rare rearrangement events. With a simple criterion for identifying irreversible events based on Voronoi tessellations, we find that the rate of those events decelerates hyperbolically...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Chung Chi Chio, Ying-Lung Steve Tse
Colloidal particles have significantly different characteristics when they are at interfaces from when they are in the bulk. In this study, we applied Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the stability and dynamics of smooth patchy particles and rough patchy particles near or at the fluid-fluid interface. By adjusting the surface area ratio of the two faces of a smooth Janus particle, we show how its stability, in terms of free energy, in either side of the interface can be tuned relative to the smooth homogeneous particle...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Markéta Kubánková, Ismael López-Duarte, Darya Kiryushko, Marina K Kuimova
Amyloid deposits of aggregated beta-amyloid Aβ(1-42) peptides are a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Aβ(1-42) aggregates are known to induce biophysical alterations in cells, including disruption of plasma membranes. We investigated the microviscosity of plasma membranes upon interaction with oligomeric and fibrillar forms of Aβ(1-42). Viscosity-sensing fluorophores termed molecular rotors were utilised to directly measure the microviscosities of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) and plasma membranes of live SH-SY5Y and HeLa cells...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Gerhard Jung, Martin Hanke, Friederike Schmid
We propose a generalized Langevin dynamics (GLD) technique to construct non-Markovian particle-based coarse-grained models from fine-grained reference simulations and to efficiently integrate them. The proposed GLD model has the form of a discretized generalized Langevin equation with distance-dependent two-particle contributions to the self- and pair-memory kernels. The memory kernels are iteratively reconstructed from the dynamical correlation functions of an underlying fine-grained system. We develop a simulation algorithm for this class of non-Markovian models that scales linearly with the number of coarse-grained particles...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Yutaku Kita, Coinneach Mackenzie Dover, Alexandros Askounis, Yasuyuki Takata, Khellil Sefiane
Manipulation of drop motion has attracted considerable attention recently as it is pertinent to industrial/biological applications such as microfluidics. Wettability gradients/contrasts applied to microtextured, superhydrophobic surfaces are probable candidates for engineering drop motion by virtue of their wettability controllability and low contact angle hysteresis. In the present work, we present a systematic study of drop mobility induced via wettability contrasts. A millimetre-sized water drop, placed on the boundary between two surfaces with distinct, uniform arrays of pillars, immediately moved toward the surface more densely populated with asperities, which was relatively more hydrophilic...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Johanna Desmaisons, Martine Rueff, Julien Bras, Alain Dufresne
Paper was impregnated with neat polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) or cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) reinforced PVOH, and dried by infrared radiation. Complex phenomena involved during paper impregnation and drying have been rarely investigated in the scientific literature, although these steps are crucial for the properties of the ensuing paper. The drying kinetics was studied and it showed that CNC tends to reduce the skin effect classically observed during fast PVOH drying. Furthermore, the nanoparticles induced faster water removal at the end of the drying step, which can be explained by an increase of the absorbed heat flux density...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Arghya Majee, Markus Bier, S Dietrich
The electrostatic interaction between pairs of spherical or macroscopically long, parallel cylindrical colloids trapped at fluid interfaces is studied theoretically for the case of small inter-particle separations. Starting from the effective interaction between two planar walls and by using the Derjaguin approximation, we address the issue of how the electrostatic interaction between such particles is influenced by their curvatures and by the wetting contact angle at their surfaces. Regarding the influence of curvature, our findings suggest that the discrepancies between linear and nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann theory, which have been noticed before for planar walls, also occur for spheres and macroscopically long, parallel cylinders, though their magnitude depends on the wetting contact angle...
November 14, 2018: Soft Matter
Ruiqiang Tao, Zhiqiang Fang, Jianhua Zhang, Honglong Ning, Jianqiu Chen, Caigui Yang, Yicong Zhou, Rihui Yao, Yongsheng Song, Junbiao Peng
Ultrashort channels of electrodes are essential for the construction of advanced functional devices with high-level integration and high operation speed. However, the channel length of fabricated electrodes is limited to 20 μm in inkjet printing. Although several methods have been previously proposed to obtain short channels, they require extra processing steps. In this paper, channel self-aligning phenomenon was observed in directly patterned electrodes on unmodified substrate by inkjet printing, when using an interspace defects growing method...
November 13, 2018: Soft Matter
T Geigenfeind, C S Dias, M M Telo da Gama, D de Las Heras, N A M Araújo
At sufficiently low temperatures and high densities, repulsive spherical particles in two-dimensions (2d) form close-packed structures with six-fold symmetry. By contrast, when the interparticle interaction has an attractive anisotropic component, the structure may exhibit the symmetry of the interaction. We consider a suspension of spherical particles interacting through an isotropic repulsive potential and a three-fold symmetric attractive interaction, confined in circular potential traps in 2d. We find that, due to the competition between the interparticle and the external potentials, the particles self-organize into structures with three- or six-fold symmetry, depending on the width of the traps...
November 13, 2018: Soft Matter
Suvendu Mandal, Thomas Franosch, Thomas Voigtmann
We find a striking trend reversal in the relaxation dynamics of mixtures with strong dynamical asymmetry. Simulations by both Brownian and Newtonian dynamics reveal that in mixtures of fast and slow hard spheres, above a critical density, the dynamics becomes slower upon increasing the mobility of the fast particles. Below that density, the same increase in mobility speeds up the dynamics. The critical density itself can be identified with the glass transition of the mode-coupling theory that does not depend on the dynamical asymmetry...
November 13, 2018: Soft Matter
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