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Cube-shaped polymer capsules
Research of Kunqiang Jiang and Chanda Arya (2010)

This false-color optical micrograph shows microsized capsules of the biopolymer, chitosan made in a microfluidic device; see our paper in Small (2011). Strikingly, the capsules have a cube or cuboid shape rather than the usual spherical shape. The mechanism underlying the formation of such unusual shapes is being investigated.


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Polymer capsule with hierarchical structure
Research of Matt Dowling (2007)

The image on the left looks like the head of an alien from outer space, but it is much more mundane and practical. This is a large polymer capsule that, in turn, encapsulates two smaller containers. The smaller containers, in turn, hold even smaller (nanosized) containers. We are interested in such multiscale capsules for drug delivery.


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Color subtraction using gels
Research of Bani Cipriano and Peter Thomas (2007)

We know that a dark blue dye + a yellow dye together make a solution dark green as shown in the vial on the left. We have studied a gel that has a strong affinity for certain dyes - in this case, the blue one. When this colorless gel is immersed in the vial on the left, the gel selectively adsorbs the blue dye, leaving behind a solution of the yellow dye. Such gels could be useful in separations. See our paper in Soft Matter (2011).


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Giant vesicles entrapped in gelatin hydrogels
Research of Matt Dowling and Jae-Ho Lee (2006)

Giant lipid vesicles entrapped in a gelatin gel are viewed under fluorescence microscopy. The vesicle bilayers have been doped with a fluorescent lipid. Note that many vesicles are elongated. Vesicle-loaded gels could be useful for drug delivery, as discussed in our paper in Langmuir (2009). This image was obtained in the lab of Dr. Wolfgang Losert.


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Birefringent hydrogels forming a cross pattern
Research of Bani Cipriano and Peter Thomas (2006)

We have found ways to make anisotropic polymer hydrogels and these show a striking birefringence under crossed polarizers. Here, two cylindrical gels are arranged to form an X and viewed through crossed polarizer sheets. The gels are birefringent only along the edges, which leads to this striking pattern of light.


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Textures of nematic and hexagonal liquid crystals of cromolyn
Research of Andrei Kostko and Bani Cipriano (2005)

Liquid crystals (LCs) exhibit birefringent textures when viewed under polarized light microscopy. Here, the textures of nematic (left) and hexagonal (right) LCs of an aromatic drug, cromolyn are shown. Cromolyn forms LCs because of its tendency to stack its pi rings - much like the stacking of DNA. See our paper in JPC-B (2005).

 

 
© 2007 Srinivasa Raghavan |
 
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