Ring Polymers Workshop 2017 in Hersonissos: Future Research Perspectives

Optical images of dissolution of capsules with compositions highlighted in the figure showing (A-C) instantaneous, (D-E) sustained, pulsed and diffuse release. (F) High magnification images of the surface cracks of the capsule and (G) the emanating micron-sized nanoparticle clusters. (H) The droplet radius of the composite (D) capsule was found to remain approximately constant over time, and release of micron-sized nanoparticle clusters occurs in bursts, over long timescales, tuneable with pH. Copyright: Authors, taken without changes from 10.1126/sciadv.aao3353 which has been published under Creative Commons Licence CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0).
Nanocomposite Capsules with Directional, Pulsed Nanoparticle Release
8th February 2018
The entire Italian delegation at lunchtime, organized outside under the orange and lemon trees. Source: AERC2018 local committee
AERC 2018 in Sorrento: A Scientific Success!
4th February 2019

by Dimitris Vlassopoulos, FORTH, Crete, Greece

Ring polymers have emerged as an extraordinary topic at the forefront of soft matter research. They have substantial implications for polymer physics, e.g. unusual stress relaxation, no entanglement plateau, viscosity modification in ring-linear polymer mixtures, and also for biology, for instance in terms of the structure-dynamics of chromosome territories, as well as DNA structure and  flow. SoftComp has led recent developments through the discovery of the role of ring purity and novel studies on rheology and the short-time diffusion of rings and ring-based mixtures. The Crete and Jülich groups have been particularly active and are collaborating with the world-leading Rubinstein theory group (Duke University).

Participants of the Ring Polymers Workshop 2017 in Hersonissos. Copyright: A. Larsen, FORTH
Participants of the Ring Polymers Workshop 2017 in Hersonissos. Copyright: A. Larsen, FORTH

The three groups organized the Ring Polymers Workshop  in Hersonissos, Crete, from 25 – 27 September 2017. The format incorporated invited and contributed (oral and poster) presentations and ample time for both formal and informal discussions. Invited speakers included Grosberg (NYU), McKenna (Texas Tech), Grayson (Tulane), Pyckhout-Hintzen (Jülich), Foster (Akron), Watanabe (Kyoto), Shanbhag (West Florida), Jung (Seoul), Everaers (Lyon), Mavrantzas (Patras), Likos (Vienna), Meyer (Strasbourg), Michieletto (Edinburgh), Sakaue (Nagoya), Floudas (Ioannina), Krutyeva (Jülich), Tezuka (Tokyo), Michieletto (Edinburgh).  

The main conclusions from the lively discussions outlined future perspectives in the following fields (see the unabridged event report on www.eu-softcomp.net for details):

  • Link to biology           
  • DNA as model ring polymer
  • Experiments with synthetic rings
  • Mixtures with rings and threading
  • Conformation of rings
  • Microfluid separation of rings and linear polymers
  • Nonlinear deformation
  • Confinement effects and thin films              
  • Role of knots
  • Rings as ultrasoft colloids
  • Rings via reversible association
Research Gate
Research Gate