23 Jun 2015
The 2015 Rideal Medal Certificate was awarded to Prof Paul Luckham, Imperial College London, and was given to him at the end of one-day meeting on his chosen theme of ‘Polymers in Colloid Science’. The invited speakers were all former students of Paul or academics and industrialists he had collaborated with during his career.
Jayne Lawrence (King’s College London) kicked off the event with a pharmaceutical flavour with a talk on nanosuspensions (crystalline, polymer-stabilised drug nanoparticles which have been milled) and how small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) was used to show that the molecular weight of the stabilising polymer did not impact the stability of the formulations. Kostas Kostarelos (University of Manchester) described to the audience ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of nano-carbon based colloids for a variety of therapeutic and diagnostic applications, and how the surface and chemistry are key to controlling the biological profiles in cell cultures and in vivo.
Patrick Hartley (CSIRO, Australia) showed some exquisite structures formed by manipulating surfactant, lipid and peptide self-assembly and their behaviour in biological systems. Gavin Braithwaite (Cambridge Polymer Group, USA) reported on the use of poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels in medicine and how the cross-linking process affects the application of the materials in a medical arena.
Cécile Dreiss (King’s College London) retraced some of her PhD work with Paul on the flocculation of polymer-stabilised colloidal particles by impacting the solubility of the layers, and thus gradually switching the interactions from repulsive to attractive, and described the use of rheology, AFM and SANS to detect these changes and the structural modifications underlying them. In yet a different area of colloid science, Andrew Howe (Schlumberger) showed some of his recent findings on the mechanisms of complex fluids for Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery.
Finally, Malcolm Faers (Bayer CropScience) described his work on the complex colloidal systems used for crop protection, and in particular the science of arrested gels, where apparently stable, structured suspensions (gels) suddenly collapse, and the use of a vane geometry with transparent tubes to allow non-intrusive rheological measurements.
This one day meeting also included a lively student poster session and a wine reception prior to Paul giving the Rideal Lecture at the end of the conference, where he gave an overview of years of his work on how polymers modify the properties of surfaces and particles and some of his scientific hobbies.
Dr Cécile Dreiss
Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group