Document Detail

Analytical theory of polymer-network-mediated interaction between colloidal particles.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22679289     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Nanostructured materials based on colloidal particles embedded in a polymer network are used in a variety of applications ranging from nanocomposite rubbers to organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells. Further, polymer-network-mediated colloidal interactions are highly relevant to biological studies whereby polymer hydrogels are commonly employed to probe the mechanical response of living cells, which can determine their biological function in physiological environments. The performance of nanomaterials crucially relies upon the spatial organization of the colloidal particles within the polymer network that depends, in turn, on the effective interactions between the particles in the medium. Existing models based on nonlocal equilibrium thermodynamics fail to clarify the nature of these interactions, precluding the way toward the rational design of polymer-composite materials. In this article, we present a predictive analytical theory of these interactions based on a coarse-grained model for polymer networks. We apply the theory to the case of colloids partially embedded in cross-linked polymer substrates and clarify the origin of attractive interactions recently observed experimentally. Monte Carlo simulation results that quantitatively confirm the theoretical predictions are also presented.
Lorenzo Di Michele; Alessio Zaccone; Erika Eiser
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-06-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-27     Completed Date:  2012-09-18     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  10187-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Models, Theoretical
Monte Carlo Method
Polymers / chemistry*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Colloids; 0/Polymers

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