Polish Day of Soft Matter and Microrheology

On November 14-15, 2019, the Second Polish Day of Soft Matter and Microreology organized by the Polish Society of Technical Rheology, EKMA Krzysztof Antosik (exclusive representative of the LS Instruments and RheoSense companies in Poland) in cooperation with the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Lodz University of Technology took place in the LabFactor building of the Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering of the Lodz University of Technology. The meeting was attended by doctoral students and young scientists from many academic, research and industrial centers such as: University of Lodz, Poznan University of Medical sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Warsaw University of Technology, Koszalin University of Technology, Poznan University of Technology, Łukasiewicz Research Network including representatives of Institute Biopolymers and Chemical Fibres as well as Institute for Sustainable Technologies, Proteon Pharmaceuticals company, and representatives of the Chemical, Mechanical as well as Process and Environmental Engineering faculties of the Lodz University of Technology.

The seminar brought together scientists dealing with the physicochemical characteristics of polymers and biopolymers in alloys and solutions, suspensions (e.g. blood), emulsions, gels and hydrogels as well as foams, aerosols and fumes. In many cases, similar or even the same measurement techniques based on identical methodology are used to characterize such media. However, usually each of these media is treated differently, and researchers dealing with a selected group do not pay attention to the achievements of those who theoretically study a different substance using the same methodology. Therefore, the meeting we propose aims to create a forum for discussion and exchange of experience in the field of methodology and measurement techniques. During the Young Scientists session, nine papers and eight posters characterizing different types of soft matter were presented. Speeches of doctoral students and young doctors concerned both the rheological characteristics of the media and the method of their processing, among others, the use of 3D printing technology to produce the medical hydrogel implants.

The example of one such measurement methods are rheometric measurements and characterization of the matter state by measuring and describing its rheological properties which are present in the study of all matter, especially soft matter. For this reason, we try to enrich our seminar with rheological workshops presenting the latest rheometric methods and techniques.

Two years ago, the main topic of workshop was the Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA) of the matter. This year, in line with the miniaturization trend, we propose hearing four speeches about microrheology. As part of the workshops, four lectures were given. In addition, training and presentation of measuring devices by LS Instriments, Friburg, Switzerland; RheoSense, Camino Ramon, USA and Kyoto Electronics Manufacturing CO., Kyoto, Japan were conducted. The lectures were given by: Dr. Claude Oelschlaeger from the Applied Mechanics group (AME) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; Dr. Andreas Charles Völker, from LS Instruments; Dr. Eric Ng representing RheoSense and Dr. Krzysztof Antosik From EKMA company. After very interesting lectures describing theoretical backgrounds, technical solutions and the measuring principles both passive and active optical microreology and the use of flows in microchannels to determine rheological properties, participants had the opportunity not only to view the presented devices, but also get to know their technical capabilities and service as well as make measurements of own samples.