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Soft matter and physics-biology interface

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:


  • Aliyah K, Lyu J, Goldmann C, et al. Real-Time <i>In Situ</i> Observations Reveal a Double Role for Ascorbic Acid in the Anisotropic Growth of Silver on Gold. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 2020;11(8):2830-2837.

  • Bareigts G, Kiatkirakajorn P-C, Li J, et al. Packing Polydisperse Colloids into Crystals: When Charge-Dispersity Matters. Physical Review Letters. 2020;124(5):058003.

  • Bindini E, Chehadi Z, Faustini M, et al. Following in Situ the Degradation of Mesoporous Silica in Biorelevant Conditions: At Last, a Good Comprehension of the Structure Influence. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 2020;12(12):13598-13612.

  • Boulogne F, Salonen A. Drop freezing: Fine detection of contaminants by measuring the tip angle. Applied Physics Letters. 2020;116(10):103701.

  • Cuif J‐P, Dauphin Y, Luquet G, et al. Non‐spherical pearl layers in the Polynesian ‘black‐lipped’ <i>Pinctada margaritifera</i> : The non‐nacreous deposits compared to microstructure of the shell growing edge. Aquaculture Research. 2020;51(2):506-522.

  • Do S-P’heng, Missaoui A, Coati A, et al. From Chains to Monolayers: Nanoparticle Assembly Driven by Smectic Topological Defects. Nano Letters. 2020;20(3):1598-1606. Available at: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04347. Accessed May 7, 2020.

  • Du H, de Oliveira FA, Albuquerque LJC, et al. Polyglycidol-Stabilized Nanoparticles as a Promising Alternative to Nanoparticle PEGylation: Polymer Synthesis and Protein Fouling Considerations. Langmuir. 2020;36(5):1266-1278.

  • Ferreiro-Córdova C, Royall CP, van Duijneveldt JS. Anisotropic viscoelastic phase separation in polydisperse hard rods leads to nonsticky gelation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2020:201909357.

  • Langevin D. On the rupture of thin films made from aqueous surfactant solutions. Advances in Colloid and Interface Science. 2020;275:102075.

  • Le Cam J-B, Albouy P-A, Charlès S. Comparison between x-ray diffraction and quantitative surface calorimetry based on infrared thermography to evaluate strain-induced crystallinity in natural rubber. Review of Scientific Instruments. 2020;91(4):044902.