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Dr Tiffany Wood, RS Industry Fellow

Tiffany Wood

RS Fellowship Title: Formulations for the future: understanding traditional and innovative composites

Fellowship Start Date: 1 January 2014 (4 years)

Studentship Title: Understanding shear-dependent structural change in commercial colloid-liquid crystal composites

Studentship Start Date: 1 October 2015 (3 years)

Research proposal background
In lyotropic liquid crystalline (LC) materials, molecules in solution align with one another to give rise to long-range order. They occur in a wide range of commercial products such as topical creams, surfactant solutions and pharmaceuticals in which they are often combined with colloidal materials such as emulsion droplets or solid particles. During this Fellowship I will assist The Mentholatum Company Ltd by exploring the self-assembly of colloids within two different types of lyotropic LCs:

  • to determine the optimum process for delivering actives in a topical cream (on the market).
  • to carry out early stage development of a new kind of biocompatible gel technology for releasing active ingredients in response to external triggers like temperature change, applied shear or an applied electric field.

Student background

Navneeta KatyanNavneeta Katyan gained an Integrated Master of Physics from the University of Mumbai and Department of Atomic Energy, Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, in 2014. Before coming to the UK, Navneeta spent a year working at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), with Dr Claire Antoine. During this time she worked on a project titled 'characterization of superconducting thin films for cavity operation using a local magnetometer'.

Navneeta began her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in February 2016. She is working under the supervision of Dr Tiffany Wood, investigating the characterization of colloids in LCs and studying their behaviour under the influence of external fields. For her latest report on this project, please click here.

Tiffany's academic background
In 2012, Dr Wood co-founded the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP), of which she is Operations Director, as a gateway for the Soft Matter Research Group at The University of Edinburgh to work on consultancy and research contracts with industry. Through industrially-funded projects she has been involved in studying a variety of soft materials from dispersions, emulsions, gels, composites and motile organisms (e.g. sperm and bacteria). This soft matter approach involves determination of the dominant interactions between components which drive the creation and evolution of the microstructure of a product. This enables determination of the macroscopic behaviour of a material in response to stress and environmental conditions, allowing prediction of product shelf-life, drying or shear behaviour and informs the design and development of innovative formulations.

Project update (and benefits of SCI support)
The work carried out under the SCI studentship will be very important as it will allow us to carry out systematic experimental studies relevant to widespread commercial processes. We plan to work alongside an MSc student at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre who will develop computer simulations to mathematically describe the experimental observations.

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