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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).

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Hamon C, Liz-Marzán LM. Colloidal design of plasmonic sensors based on surface enhanced Raman scattering. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2018;512:834-843.

  • Henaff R, Le Doudic G, Pilette B, et al. A study of kinetic friction: The Timoshenko oscillator. American Journal of Physics. 2018;86(3):174-179.

  • Hénot M, Drockenmuller É, Léger L, Restagno F. Friction of Polymers: from PDMS Melts to PDMS Elastomers. ACS Macro Letters. 2018;7(1):112-115.

  • Pilar K, Balédent V, Zeghal M, et al. Communication: Investigation of ion aggregation in ionic liquids and their solutions with lithium salt under high pressure. The Journal of Chemical Physics. 2018;148(3):031102.

  • Sibeaud M, De Paz-Simon H, Croutxé-Barghorn C, et al. Scaling-up of mesoporous silica films via an eco-efficient UV processing method. Part 1: Photoinduced mesostructuration. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials. 2018;257:42-50.