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The activity is focused on the interfacial properties of complex systems in presence of surfactants and solid micro-nanoparticles. In particular the following aspects are deepened:

  • Dynamic properties and dilational rheology (interfacial tension, viscoelasticity) of mixed interfacial layers and liquid films.
  • Relationship between the properties of a single interface and the characteristics of the relative dispersed systems: coalescence of drops and bubbles and destabilization of emulsions and foams in presence of nanoparticles.
  • Formulation and characterization of biocompatible / biodegradable emulsions and foams.
  • Foams stabilized by nanoparticles and applications to the formulation and design of porous materials with controlled morphology (solid foams at ceramic or carbonaceous matrix).
  • Interactions of solid nanoparticles with adsorption interfacial layers or insoluble monolayers and effect on their rheological and thermodynamic properties.
  • Mechanical, thermodynamic and structural characterization of mixed interfacial layers at liquid interfaces by using tensiometric techniques (drop / bubble tensiometers, Langmuir balance) and surface diagnostics (BAM, ellipsometry and AFM).
  • Experimental methods to assess the impact of solid micro-nanoparticles on the mechanical and structural properties of model interfacial layers for biological systems (pulmonary surfactant, cell membranes) and conditions for the capture and interface crossing.

The above reported research can find application in the following fields:

  • Emulsions and foams for industrial applications (ex. oil industry, foods, cosmetics & healthcare, separation technologies, printing)
  • Porous materials at high specific area for functional applications, such as gas adsorption (ex. CO2 capture), catalysis, thermal/acoustical insulation, electromagnetic screaming.
  • Self-assembling of surfactants and nanoparticles to liquid surfaces: templating of microcapsules on the surface of liquid drops, stimuli-responsive nanocapsules, two-dimensional nanostructured membranes.
  • Production of micro-nanocapsules and two-dimensional membranes for the medical and pharmaceutical field (drug delivery).
  • Nanotoxicology and risk assessment in vitro.

    • Experimental techniques for surface tension and interfacial rheology of complex systems
    • Theoretical tools for the interpretation o rheological data and adsorption dynamics in presence of particles
    • Bulk characterization of colloidal dispersions (DLS, Zeta Potential)
    • Structural characterisation of mixed interfacial layers (BAM, Ellipsometry, AFM)
    • Formulation and characterization of emulsions and foams

    • D. Zabiegaj, E. Santini, M. Ferrari, L. Liggieri, F.Ravera
      Carbon based porous materials from particle stabilized wet foams
      Colloids and Surfaces A, 2015, 473 (2015), 24-31
    • E. Guzmán, D. Orsi, L. Cristofolini, L. Liggieri, F. Ravera
      2D DPPC Based Emulsion–like Structures Stabilized by Silica Nanoparticles
      Langmuir, 72 (2014), 127-138
    • D. Zabiegaj, E. Santini, E. Guzman, M. Ferrari, L. Liggieri, V. Buscaglia, M.T. Buscaglia, G. Battilana, F. Ravera
      Nanoparticle laden interfacial layers and application to foams and solid foams
      Colloids and Surfaces A, 438 (2013), 132-140
    • E. Guzmán, L. Liggieri . E. Santini, M. Ferrari, F. Ravera
      Effect of Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Nanoparticles on the Surface Pressure Response of DPPC Monolayers
      Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115 (2011), 21715-21722
    • CP Whitby, D. Fornasiero, J. Ralston, L. Liggieri, F. Ravera
      Properties of Fatty Amine - Silica Nanoparticle Interfacial Layers at the Hexane-Water Interface
      Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 16 (2012), 3050-3058

    • NIPS - Nanoparticle Impact on Pulmonary Surfactant Interfacial Proerties, Progetto IIT Seed, 2010-2013
    • PASTA - PArticle STAbilized Emulsions and Foams, Progetto finanziato ASI, 2013-2016

    • Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica, Università Complutense di Madrid (Spagna)
    • Max-Planck Institute per i Colloidi e le interfacce, Golm/Potsdam (Germania)
    • Dipartimento di Fisica e di Scienze della Terra, Università di Parma (Italia)
Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica, Università Complutense di Madrid (Spagna) Max-Planck Institute per i Colloidi e le interfacce, Golm/Potsdam (Germania) Dipartimento di Fisica e di Scienze della Terra, Università di Parma (Italia)