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Soft matter and physics-biology interface

"Soft matter", within condensed matter physics, includes not only "ordinary" liquids, but also more complex fluids. These complex fluids generally behave as liquids at a molecular scale, and simultaneously show some organization at a supramolecular scale (sometimes there are several different kinds of organization depending on the length scale). The field of application is huge, indeed soft matter is everywhere in our everyday life : cosmetics (creams, shampoos...), food (yoghurts, jellies..), mud, sand, liquid crystals (watches, computer screens), biological objects (cells) among others. The word "soft" refers to the fact that all these objects can be easily deformed, being very sensitive to external parameters (temperature, electric field...), in other words they are fragile.

The research topic named "soft matter and physics-biology interface" of our laboratory gathers very diverse physical systems, from biological materials to industrial plastic materials. Experimental studies concern organization and dynamics of soft matter systems on a wide range of length scale (from the molecular to the macroscopic scale) ; the techniques used are extremely diverse and most of them are available inside the laboratory. They are completed by theoretical studies, modelizations and numerical simulations.

Hexagonal columnar phase of nucleosomes observed with under polarizing microscope (115x171µm²).

Numerical simulation of a tear in a filled elastomer.

Faceted droplet of a liquid crystal in cubic phase, observed under optical microscope.

Scientific teams :
- Matter and Radiation
- Self-assembled Biological Objects
- Soft Interfaces
- Theory
- Tissues and biological fibres

Research topics :
Experimental techniques :
- Adhesion and friction
- filled elastomers
- Polymers
- Nanotubes in liquid crystals
- Mixtures of polymers and tensioactive materials
- Liquid crystals
- Mesoporous materials
- Mineral liquid crystals
- Soap films
- Flow of confined liquids
- Foams
- Mechanics and flow of threshold fluids
- Biological tissues and fibers
- Synthesis of metallic nanoparticles in mesophases
- Biomineralization
- Light scattering
- Osmometry
- Biochemistry
- Ellipsometry
- Optical microscopy
- Interfacial rheometry
- Conductimétrie
- X-rays
- Neutrons
- Numerical simulations
- Cryo-electronic microscopy


Recent publications :


  • Albouy P-A, Deville S, Fulkar A, et al. Freezing-induced self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules. Soft Matter. 2017;13(9):1759-1763.

  • Amjadi M, Hallaj T, Asadollahi H, Song Z, de Frutos M, Hildebrandt N. Facile synthesis of carbon quantum dot/silver nanocomposite and its application for colorimetric detection of methimazole. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 2017;244:425-432.

  • Berrod Q, Ferdeghini F, Zanotti J-M, et al. Ionic Liquids: evidence of the viscosity scale-dependence. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1).

  • Bobroff J. Reimagining physics. Nature Nanotechnology. 2017;12(5):496-496.

  • Boulogne F, Ingremeau F, Stone HA. Coffee-stain growth dynamics on dry and wet surfaces. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. 2017;29(7):074001.

  • Boulogne F, Khodaparast S, Poulard C, Stone HA. Protocol to perform pressurized blister tests on thin elastic films. The European Physical Journal E. 2017;40(6).

  • Bouquet F, Bobroff J, Fuchs-Gallezot M, Maurines L. Project-based physics labs using low-cost open-source hardware. American Journal of Physics. 2017;85(3):216-222.

  • Buttinoni I, Steinacher M, Spanke HT, et al. Colloidal polycrystalline monolayers under oscillatory shear. Physical Review E. 2017;95(1).

  • Champougny L, Rio E, Restagno F, Scheid B. The break-up of free films pulled out of a pure liquid bath. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 2017;811:499-524.

  • Charlier P, Weil R, Deblock R, Augias A, Deo S. Helium ion microscopy (HIM): Proof of the applicability on altered human remains (hairs of Holy Maria-Magdalena). Legal Medicine. 2017;24:84-85.