Nanoscience, Materials and Chemical Engineering
Allan Donald Mackie
Maria Pantelidou has studied Physics (bachelor degree) in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she chooses the field of the Atmosphere and Environment. After her bachelor degree, she takes an e-learning course named “Introduction to Nanomedicine”, provided by the National Metsovian Technical University of Athens. The next year she started her master in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Her master thesis was about molecular simulations of triblock copolymer systems. This work helped her to continuous her research as a PhD student in the same university. As a researcher, she has attended many conferences, workshops and summer schools in Greece as well as in other countries. She is trying to follow her passion for science by participating to different science associations. So, she is an active member of the Panhellenic Physics association and of the Complex Systems association.
Project: Molecular Simulations of Triblock Copolymer Systems: Static and Dynamic Properties of Self-assembling Surfactant and Polymer Solutions using Coarse-grained Models
Surfactants are amphiphilic molecules consist of hydrophobic heads and hydrophilic tails.Surfactants in water tend to accumulate in the water-air interface with the hydrophilic part inside water and the hydrophobic part in the air side. Above a certain concentration (CMC) of surfactants in water, the water-air interface will be saturated and the surfactants will self-assemply into micelles driven from the hydrophobic effect. This physical mechanism is key to develop new intelligent materials having a strong impact in selective drug delivery, tissue repair, molecular recognition, and many others. In this study, we used a coarsed-grained model for Triblock copolymer surfactants, well known as Pluronics in water at 37 Celsius degrees. These kinds of surfactants consist of 2 hydrophilic heads and a hydrophobic tail and they modeled as consecutive beads, the number of them depending on the kind of Pluronic used. This thesis is divided in two parts. The first part uses Single Chain Mean Field Theory and and its dynamic version, as simulation methods to study the equilibrium properties and the dynamic behavior of micelles made of surfactants with different degree of flexibility.