NA 2: Self-assembling & Biomimetic Systems

The self-assembly of surfactant molecules in monolayers at the interface between oil and water reduces the interfacial tension drastically. This mechanism is used in all industry of cleaning and washing processes.

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Surfactants are also used to stabilize emulsions, they are a basic to the detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, and food industries e.g. nutraceuticals and plant protection. The self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules plays also an important role in biological systems, where the membrane of cells and cell organelles form by self-assembly of lipid molecules. Self-assembling amphiphilic systems are therefore very important for pharmaceutical and biological applications. Besides classical surfactant, new polymeric materials (amphiphilic diblocks) are now available in industry and may play a very important role in applications very soon.

The SoftComp Scientific Activity

Scientifically SoftComp covers a broad range of scientific activities with currently 39 groups from 33 institutions actively involved. Therefore it is impossible to describe all important results. Instead we present a few highlights in an exemplary way here.

Network Area Coordinators:

P. Bassereau, Institute Curie, France, and P. Beales, Univ. Leeds, United Kingdom


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