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Dr. Varade and Dr. Karakoti receive generous funding from DST

  December 06, 2016   Funded Research

Title: Superstable Responsive Aqueous Foam for Synthesis of Novel Biomimetic Materials 
PI: Dr. Dharmesh Varade 
Co-PI: Dr. Ajay Karakoti 
Project Duration: 3 years
Starting date: March 2017
Ending date: Feb 2020 
Funding Organization: DST - SERB Early Career Research Award
Funding Amount: Approx. 40 Lakh
Proposal Summary:  The proposed project is on a simple and sustainable system that combines a good foamability and an outstanding foam stability, which can then be readily tuned to weak foam stability by changing the polymorphism of the system upon heating. To achieve this, catanionic surfactant systems, i.e. mixtures of cationic and anionic surfactants will be utilized. Such mixtures are expected to show decent properties with respect to foam formation and stabilization as they are well-known to pack very competently at the gas/water interface, affords free surfactant in solution and form vesicles usually considered at thermodynamic equilibrium. The existence of vesicles will affords bulk viscoelastic properties and provides good foam stabilities once generated as by efficiently blocking the liquid drainage. Here, the foamability and the outstanding foam stability of that system at room temperature will be studied, establishing the link to the supramolecular assembly (vesicles) in water; this stable foam can be used as templates for synthesis of novel biomimetic materials. In solution, those vesicles may melt into micelles at a temperature depending on the nature of the surfactants. Hence, this can allows us to tune the foam stability with temperature. The stabilizing surfactant aggregates adsorbed at the gas/liquid interface is quite analogous with the extended form of Langmuir monolayers. These monolayers, arranged parallel to each other and separated by Plateau border, offers greater possibility for the binding various charged ions at the gas–liquid interface, thereby, utilizing the liquid lamellae as a plausible template for growing a wide variety of biomimetic materials like metal and alloy nanoparticles (Au, Pt, Ag, Pd, Ni, Co etc.), metal oxide (CeO2) and metal oxide on metal (MOM) nanoparticles (CeO2@Au). We aim to study the enzymatic activity of bimetallic nanoparticles and compare the reactivity with individual nanoparticles particles prepared via the aqueous foam method. In addition, we would like to study the enzymatic activity of metal oxide on metal system using CeO2@Au as the model system as it will combine the peroxidase activity of gold with superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of cerium oxide nanoparticles. This system if successful will be unique as we will be able to demonstrate and create an inorganic nanoparticle system that can show dual enzymatic activity in one system.
Broad Area: Nanocomposites and nanotechnology.
Subject Area: Chemistry and Materials Science