Themed collection Soft Matter Most Popular 2021
Data-driven algorithms for inverse design of polymers
The ever-increasing demand for novel polymers with superior properties requires a deeper understanding and exploration of the chemical space.
A decade of innovation and progress in understanding the morphology and structure of heterogeneous polymers in rigid confinement
Confining the polymers influences their properties, while opening new platforms for novel applications at the nanometer scale.
Adhesion behaviors on four special wettable surfaces: natural sources, mechanisms, fabrications and applications
The surface of plants in nature contains important wetting and adhesion models. By studying their microstructure and chemical composition, the wetting mechanism can be modeled, and its fabrications and applications can be inspired and influenced.
Elastin-inspired supramolecular hydrogels: a multifaceted extracellular matrix protein in biomedical engineering
The phenomenal advancement in regenerative medicines has led to the development of bioinspired materials to fabricate a biomimetic artificial extracellular matrix (ECM) to support cellular survival, proliferation, and differentiation.
Stimuli-responsive engineered living materials
Engineered living materials integrate genetic engineering and synthetic materials to program stimuli responses that enable the fabrication of devices for diverse applications.
Linear triglycerol-based fluorosurfactants show high potential for droplet-microfluidics-based biochemical assays
We decoupled the influence of different spatial geometries of oligoglycerol-based head groups and contributed to the goal of rational fluorosurfactant design for droplet microfluidics-based water-in-oil emulsions and suited applications.
Exploring water in oil emulsions simultaneously stabilized by solid hydrophobic silica nanospheres and hydrophilic soft PNIPAM microgel
Using well-defined stabilizers allows generalizable predictions on the emulsion structure of w/o emulsions stabilized by hydrophilic microgels and hydrophobic nanoparticles.
Fingering instability in spreading epithelial monolayers: roles of cell polarisation, substrate friction and contractile stresses
Numerical simulations and linear stability analyses of expanding cellular monolayers suggest cell–substrate friction is responsible for fingers at the edge. A critical contractile stress characterises wetting-dewetting; dewetting inhibits fingering.
Shear thickening behavior in dense repulsive and attractive suspensions of hard spheres
Simulated particle networks (different solid colors) in a strongly attractive suspension at low shear stress. The distribution of the typical cluster size in the transient regime is more fragmented, prompting the unstable behavior of the suspension.
Surface alignment of ferroelectric nematic liquid crystals
The coupling of the newly discovered ferroelectric liquid crystal with solid surface gives rise to a variety of orientation, defects and electric field response that are a consequence of the polar symmetry breaking and depend on the specific surface.
Impact of a microfluidic jet on a pendant droplet
The impact of microscopic jets on pendant liquid droplets is studied experimentally. The critical traversing jet velocity is predicted, which explains how the phenomena are governed by the impact inertia, the surface tension of the droplet and viscoelastic effects.
On the relationship between cutting and tearing in soft elastic solids
Unique observations of cutting energy in silicone elastomers motivate a picture of soft fracture that qualitatively and quantitatively links far-field tearing with push cutting for the first time.
Structure and dynamics of ions in dipolar solvents: a coarse-grained simulation study
We employ the coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the fundamental structural and dynamic properties of the ionic solution with and without the application of an external electric field.
Actin filament alignment causes mechanical hysteresis in cross-linked networks
We investigate biopolymer networks with long lasting stiffening in the direction of previously applied stress. We find this phenomenon depends on the network having a non-linear shear response and the ability of filaments to rearrange under stress.
Propelling microdroplets generated and sustained by liquid–liquid phase separation in confined spaces
Liquid transport in a confined space can be enhanced via propelling microdroplets. These microdroplets form spontaneously from localized liquid–liquid phase separation as a ternary mixture is diluted by a diffusing poor solvent.
Spatial velocity correlations in inertial systems of active Brownian particles
The velocity field of systems of active Brownian particles at high density shows large spatial coherent structures, a genuine non-equilibrium behavior. The effects of Peclet number, inertia and thermal diffusion on the ordering phenomenon are studied.
Globular protein assembly and network formation at fluid interfaces: effect of oil
The formation of viscoelastic networks at fluid interfaces by globular proteins is essential in many industries, scientific disciplines, and biological processes.
Decoupling salt- and polymer-dependent dynamics in polyelectrolyte complex coacervates via salt addition
A method for changing the salt and polymer concentrations of coacervates independently is developed and used to investigate their rheology.
Splitting dynamics of ferrofluid droplets inside a microfluidic T-junction using a pulse-width modulated magnetic field in micro-magnetofluidics
A novel, simple, and robust ferrofluid droplet splitting in microfluidics employing a pulse-width modulated magnetic field is proposed.
Intestines of non-uniform stiffness mold the corners of wombat feces
The bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus) is a fossorial, herbivorous, Australian marsupial, renowned for its cubic feces.