In this talk, I will share our works on aqueous emulsion drops surrounded by an immiscible aqueous continuous phase, which we call "all-aqueous emulsions". These water-in-water (w/w) emulsions have tunable interfacial tension at room temperature, and allow osmosis across the emulsion interface. The significantly lower interfacial tension demands different strategies for stabilizing the droplets against coalescence, as compared to conventional emulsions made up of mixtures of water and oil phases. The all-aqueous emulsions also exhibit dynamics that can be triggered by osmosis across the emulsion interface, which acts like a semipermeable membrane. While the oil-free nature of all-aqueous emulsions makes them highly relevant to biomedical encapsulation, the unique physico-chemical phenomena induced by osmosis may possibly explain similar intricate behaviors of membrane-free organelles and droplets in biological systems.
This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..