Reversible active switching of the mechanical properties of a peptide film at a fluid–fluid interface

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Entry by Richie Tay for AP 225 Fall 2012

General

Authors: Annette Dexter, Andrew Malcolm and Anton Middelberg

Publication: Dexter, A. et al. Reversible active switching of the mechanical properties of a peptide film at a fluid–fluid interface. Nature Materials 5, 502-506 (2006)

Keywords: emulsion, surfactant

Introduction

The ability to control the properties of fluid–fluid interfaces is useful in industrial processes that rely on foams and emulsions, such as oil recovery, waste-water treatment, food processing and pharmaceutical formulation. Surfactants stabilize foams and emulsions by lowering the interfacial tension and generating electrostatic and/or steric barriers to coalescence. They fall into two broad classes: the low-molecular-weight detergents (e.g. polar lipids) we are familiar with, which have high lateral mobility in the interface; and polymers (including proteins), which have limited lateral mobility but form a cohesive interfacial film that prevents the rupture of thin films between bubbles or droplets.

Results and Discussion

References

[1] Dexter, A. et al. Reversible active switching of the mechanical properties of a peptide film at a fluid–fluid interface. Nature Materials 5, 502-506 (2006)