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Rideal Bursar Shirin Alexander reports from ACIS2011

Shirin Alexander

5 April 2011

I attended The Fifth Biannual Australian Colloid and Interface Symposium, which was held in Hobart, Tasmania from 30 Jan 2011 to 3 Feb 2011.

My oral presentation 'Growth and Shrinking of Pluronic Micelles in Pluronic-Flurbiprofen Solutions: Variation of Concentration and pH' investigates the effect of varying conditions, such as change of pH and changes of drug and polymer concentrations, on polymer-drug interactions - specifically the encapsulation of the hydrophobic drug. The aim is to increase the solubility and bioavailability of highly hydrophobic drugs. I was pleased that it was so well received and that I had such good feedback after the presentation, including one or two discussions on the techniques that I used in my work.

The conference covered a wide range of themes such as Surface Forces, Neutron Scattering and Synchrotron Techniques, Microfluidics and Separation Sciences, Advanced Functional and Nanoscale Materials, Mineral and Material Interfaces and Frontiers of Colloid and Interface Science. It also provided an opportunity to hear some exceptional speakers, including RACI Colloid Division Plenary Lecture: Professor Helmuth Möhwald from Germany and Professor Terence Cosgrove from the UK, talk about their area of expertise. I heard presentations from world-leading scientists in the area of colloids and interface, including Alexander Lecture: Professor Kazue Kurihara from Japan, which provided me with valuable information in this field of science.

The conference was a very well organized event, with such a variety of lectures and areas of focus. I met many notable people that were interested in my research and the novel techniques I employed. I had some useful discussions with people from different universities in Australia, which might lead to job opportunities within their organizations in the future.

I would like to thank SCI for awarding me the Rideal Travel Bursary, this gave me a great opportunity which would have not been possible without it.

Shirin Alexander,
University of Bristol

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