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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 :


  • Azar E, Constantin D, Warschawski DE. The effect of gramicidin inclusions on the local order of membrane components. The European Physical Journal E. 2018;41(3).

  • Berès F, Lignon G, Rouzière S, et al. Physicochemical analysis of human pulpal mineralization secondary to <i>FAM20A</i> mutations. Connective Tissue Research. 2018;59(sup1):46-51.

  • Bories F, Constantin D, Galatola P, Fournier J-B. Coupling between Inclusions and Membranes at the Nanoscale. Physical Review Letters. 2018;120(12).

  • Boufi S, Bel Haaj S, Magnin A, Pignon F, Impéror-Clerc M, Mortha G. Ultrasonic assisted production of starch nanoparticles: Structural characterization and mechanism of disintegration. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry. 2018;41:327-336.

  • Boulogne F, Dollet B. Convective evaporation of vertical films. Soft Matter. 2018;14(9):1665-1671.

  • Cagna A, Esposito G, Quinquis A-S, Langevin D. On the reversibility of asphaltene adsorption at oil-water interfaces. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 2018;548:46-53.

  • Chakibi H, Hénaut I, Salonen A, Langevin D, Argillier J-F. Role of Bubble–Drop Interactions and Salt Addition in Flotation Performance. Energy & Fuels. 2018;32(3):4049-4056.

  • Champougny L, Miguet J, Henaff R, Restagno F, Boulogne F, Rio E. Influence of Evaporation on Soap Film Rupture. Langmuir. 2018.

  • Cui Y, Zhang Y, Jia P, et al. Three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry algorithm based on tetrahedron vote. Experiments in Fluids. 2018;59(2).

  • de Izarra A, Park S, Lee J, Lansac Y, Jang YH. Ionic Liquid Designed for PEDOT:PSS Conductivity Enhancement. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2018;140(16):5375-5384.