The local order in a supercooled monodisperse colloidal fluid is studied by direct imaging of the particles with a laser scanning confocal microscope. The local structure is analysed with a bond order parameter method, which allows one to discern simple structures that are relevant in this system. As expected for samples that crystallize eventually, a large fraction of the particles are found to sit in surroundings with dominant face-centred cubic or hexagonally close-packed character. Evidence for local structures that contain fragments of icosahedra is found, and, moreover, the icosahedral character increases with volume fraction phi, which indicates that it might play an important role at volume fractions near the glass transition.
Drying aqueous suspensions of monodisperse silica nanoparticles can fracture in remarkable patterns. As the material solidifies, evenly spaced cracks invade from the drying surface, with individual cracks undergoing intermittent motion. We show that the growth of cracks is limited by the advancement of the compaction front, which is governed by a balance of evaporation and flow of fluid at the drying surface. Surprisingly, the macroscopic dynamics of drying show signatures of molecular-scale fluid effects.
We use conventional and multispeckle dynamic light scattering to investigate the dynamics of a wide variety of jammed soft materials, including colloidal gels, concentrated emulsions, and concentrated surfactant phases. For all systems, the dynamic structure factor f (q, t) exhibits a two-step decay. The initial decay is due to the thermally activated diffusive motion of the scatterers, as indicated by the q(-2) dependence of the characteristic relaxation time, where q is the scattering vector. However, due to the constrained motion of the scatterers in jammed systems, the dynamics are arrested and the initial decay terminates in a plateau. Surprisingly, we find that a final, ultraslow decay leads to the complete relaxation of f (q, t), indicative of rearrangements on length scales as large as several microns or tens of microns. Remarkably, for all systems the same very peculiar form is found for the final relaxation of the dynamic structure factor: f (q, t) similar to exp [ (t /tau(s))(p)], with p approximate to 1.5 and t(s) similar to q(-1), thus suggesting the generality of this behavior. Additionally, for all samples the final relaxation slows down with age, although the aging behavior is found to be sample dependent. We propose that the unusual ultraslow dynamics are due to the relaxation of internal stresses, built into the sample at the jamming transition, and present simple scaling arguments that support this hypothesis.
Times Cited: 100 General Meeting on Non-Equilibrium Behaviour of Colloidal Dispersions Sep 09-11, 2002 Edinburgh, scotland
We demonstrate ordered orientation of the hydration water at the surface of phospholipid bilayers by use of coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy, a highly sensitive vibrational imaging method recently developed. We investigated negatively charged POPS (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine) and neutral POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) multilamellar onions dispersed in deuterated dodecane. The imaging contrast based on the CARS signal from the H2O stretching vibration shows a clear dependence on the excitation field polarization. Our results provide direct experimental evidence that water molecules close to the phospholipid bilayer surface are ordered with the symmetry axis along the direction normal to the bilayer. Moreover, the amount of ordered water molecules depends on the lipid polar group. The spectral profile for the interlamellar water shows that the water molecules bound to the bilayer surface are less hydrogen-bonded and exhibit a higher vibrational frequency than bulk water.
We describe experimental investigations of the structure of two-dimensional spherical crystals. The crystals, formed by beads self-assembled on water droplets in oil, serve as model systems for exploring very general theories about the minimum-energy configurations of particles with arbitrary repulsive interactions on curved surfaces. Above a critical system size we find that crystals develop distinctive high-angle grain boundaries, or scars, not found in planar crystals. The number of excess defects in a scar is shown to grow linearly with the dimensionless system size. The observed slope is expected to be universal, independent of the microscopic potential.
In this work, the topology of the electrostatic potential using density functional theory for periodic systems was used to study the nature of the interaction of water with laponite surfaces; an uncharged sheet model was also used. The topological analysis predicts that for uncharged surfaces the adsorption mode is such that the water molecules are adsorbed almost parallel to the surface. For laponite surfaces, where there is a net charge, the adsorption mode involves electrostatic repulsion between the negative lone pairs on the water molecules and the ones on the surface oxygen atoms. As a consequence, the water molecules bind to the surface in a perpendicular and tilted approach, minimizing the repulsive interactions. The advantage of using the topology of the electrostatic potential as an efficient method to describe the electrostatic interactions between adsorbates and surfaces is also discussed.
Cell-selective intracellular targeting is a key element of more specific and safe enzyme, toxin, and gene therapies. Endothelium poorly internalizes certain candidate carriers for vascular immunotargeting, such as antibodies to platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1). Conjugation of poorly internalizable antibodies with streptavidin (SA) facilitates the intracellular uptake. Although both small and large (100-nm versus 1000-nm diameter) anti-PECAM/SA-beta galactosidase (SA-beta-gal) conjugates bound selectively to PECAM-expressing cells, only small conjugates showed intracellular accumulation of active P-gal. To study whether size of the conjugates controls the uptake, a series of anti-PECAM/SA and anti-PECAM/bead conjugates ranging from 80 nm to 5 mum in diameter were produced. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells and PECAM-transfected mesothelioma cells internalized 80- to 350-nm anti-PECAM conjugates, but not conjugates larger than 500 nm. Further, size controls intracellular targeting of active therapeutic cargoes in vitro and in vivo. Small anti-PECAM/DNA conjugates transfected target cells in culture 5-fold more effectively than their large counterpart (350- versus 4200-nm diameter). To evaluate the practical significance of the size-controlled subcellular addressing, we coupled glucose oxidase (GOX) to anti-PECAM and antithrombomodulin. Both types of conjugates had equally high pulmonary uptake after intravenous injection in mice, yet only small (200- to 250-nm), not large (600- to 700-nm), GOX conjugates caused profound oxidative vascular injury in the lungs, presumably owing to intracellular generation of H2O2. Thus, engineering of affinity carriers of specific size permits intracellular delivery of active cargoes to endothelium in vitro and in vivo, a paradigm useful for the targeting of drugs, genes, and toxins. (C) 2002 by The American Society of Hematology.
We use confocal microscopy to study particle motion in colloidal systems. Near the glass transition, motion is inhibited, as particles spend time trapped in transient "cages" formed by neighboring particles. We measure the cage sizes and lifetimes, which, respectively, shrink and grow as the glass transition approaches. Cage rearrangements are more prevalent in regions with lower concentrations and higher disorder. Neighboring rearranging particles typically move in parallel directions, although a nontrivial fraction moves in antiparallel directions, usually from particle pairs with initial separations corresponding to local maxima and minima of the pair correlation function g(r), respectively.
The dynamics of a glass-forming material slow greatly near the glass transition, and molecular motion becomes inhibited. We use confocal microscopy to investigate the motion of colloidal particles near the colloidal glass transition. As the concentration in a dense colloidal suspension is increased, particles become confined in transient cages formed by their neighbors. This prevents them from diffusing freely throughout the sample. We quantify the properties of these cages by measuring temporal anticorrelations of the particles' displacements. The local cage properties are related to the subdiffusive rise of the mean square displacement: over a broad range of time scales, the mean square displacement grows slower than linearly in time. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
We have combined the. drug release and delivery potential of nanoparticle (NP) systems with the ease of flow, processing, and aerosolization potential of large porous particle (LPP) systems by spray drying solutions of polymeric and nonpolymeric NPs into extremely thin-walled macroscale structures. These hybrid LPPs exhibit much better flow and aerosolization properties than the NPs; yet, unlike the LPPs, which dissolve in physiological conditions to produce molecular constituents, the hybrid LPPs dissolve to produce NPs, with the drug release and delivery advantages associated with NP delivery systems. Formation of the large porous NP (LPNP) aggregates occurs via a spray-drying process that ensures the drying time of the sprayed droplet is sufficiently shorter than the characteristic time for redistribution of NPs by diffusion within the drying droplet, implying a local Peclet number much greater than unity. Additional control over LPNPs physical characteristics is achieved by adding other components to the spray-dried solutions, including sugars, lipids, polymers, and proteins. The ability to produce LPNPs appears to be largely independent of molecular component type as well as the size or chemical nature of the NPs.
Velocity fluctuations in sedimentation are studied to investigate the origin of a hypothesized universal scale [P. N. Segre, E. Herbolzheimer, and P. M. Chaikin, Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 2574 (1997)]. Our experiments show that fluctuations decay continuously in time for sufficiently thick cells, never reaching steady state. Simulations and scaling arguments suggest that the decay arises from increasing vertical stratification of particle concentration due to spreading of the sediment front. The results suggest that the velocity fluctuations in sedimentation depend sensitively on cell geometry.
The rheological properties of cholesteric liquid crystals containing networks of defects are investigated. A network of linear defects of the "oily-streak" type is stabilized when colloidal particles are dispersed into the cholesteric liquid crystals. This network converts the rheological response of a presheared cholesteric liquid crystal from fluidlike to solidlike and leads to the formation of a "defect-mediated" solid. The frequency-dependent complex shear modulus G(*)(omega) is measured, for samples with and without inclusions, in both the linear and nonlinear viscoelastic regimes. The linear elastic response mediated by the defect network is discussed in terms of a model analogous to the theories of rubber elasticity. All our data for G(*)(omega) are fitted to a simplified theoretical form, and the values and variations of the fitting parameters, in the various regimes investigated, are discussed in terms of the properties of defect structure present in the samples. Similar rheological properties are expected to arise from particle-stabilized oily-streak defect networks in layered systems such as smectic-A and lyotropic L(alpha) phases.
Optical imaging of ex vivo tissue models to study heart fibrillation is normally performed using voltage-sensitive dyes. Upon stimulation by an electrode, time-dependent fluorescence or absorption signals are recorded, often in trans-illumination geometry. In order to provide quantification of the origins of these signals inside the tissue, the locally varying optical properties of the tissue have to be known and their change due to the presence of the dyes. To provide experimental input for further modeling efforts, we have performed depth dependent measurements with a fiber optic laser source inside the tissue, recording light profiles on the tissue surface, mainly in transmission geometry. From these measurements, optical properties have been extracted and the obtained profiles have been used as input into a preliminary image reconstruction scheme, together with Monte Carlo simulations. Experiments at different locations in the same sample show the variation of optical properties. Additionally, effects from the presence of heterogeneities on the signal have been investigated.
Times Cited: 0 Conference on Optical Biopsy IV Jan 21-23, 2002 San jose, ca Spie
Nanometre- and micrometre-sized charged particles at aqueous interfaces are typically stabilized by a repulsive Coulomb interaction. If one of the phases forming the interface is a nonpolar substance ( such as air or oil) that cannot sustain a charge, the particles will exhibit long-ranged dipolar repulsion(1); if the interface area is confined, mutual repulsion between the particles can induce ordering(2) and even crystallization(3,4). However, particle ordering has also been observed in the absence of area confinement(5), suggesting that like-charged particles at interfaces can also experience attractive interactions(6). Interface deformations are known to cause capillary forces that attract neighbouring particles to each other, but a satisfying explanation for the origin of such distortions remains outstanding(7,8). Here we present quantitative measurements of attractive interactions between colloidal particles at an oil - water interface and show that the attraction can be explained by capillary forces that arise from a distortion of the interface shape that is due to electrostatic stresses caused by the particles' dipolar field. This explanation, which is consistent with all reports on interfacial particle ordering so far, also suggests that the attractive interactions might be controllable: by tuning the polarity of one of the interfacial fluids, it should be possible to adjust the electrostaticstresses of the system and hence the interparticle attractions.
We have incorporated nematic liquid crystal into periodic, polymer host structures templated from self-assembled colloids. Using these composite materials, we demonstrate the first electrically switchable three-dimensional Bragg diffraction. The switchable beam deflection is potentially useful for non-mechanical beam steering and optical beam splitting devices. We compare the electro-optic response of our templated liquid-crystal/polymer composites with conventional polymer-dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs). Our data reveal a qualitatively different and faster response for liquid crystal distributed within a connected cavity network, as compared to isolated liquid-crystal droplets within a polymer matrix.
We report optical switching studies on nematic liquid crystal incorporated into structures based on self-assembled colloids. We compare the electro-optic responses of liquid crystal imbibed into colloid-templated polymers, liquid crystal imbibed in the interstitial space of colloid crystals, and conventional polymer-dispersed liquid crystals. We characterize the Bragg diffraction of our templated liquid-crystal/polymer composites as a function of electric field and measure switching times. The response of liquid crystal in connected networks differs qualitatively from that of liquid crystal in isolated cavities.