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.
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