November 21st 2016 – 3rd Annual meeting

The MICSED team gathered on 21st and 22nd of November in the P&G Brussels Innovation Center for the 3rd annual meeting of the project.

The ESRs learnt about laundry formulation, were asked to think about IP protection and presented an idea of outreach activity. As the end of the project is approaching, they were also advised on how to write a PhD thesis and how to apply to job offers.

Each ESR gave a progress review of his/her project to the whole team, and reviewed individually with academic and industrial supervisors his/her work plan for the final year of the programme.

The Supervisory and Training Board ensured that the milestones were reached and the deliverable achieved within budget and reviewed each ERS’s Personal Career Development Plan.


3rd Annual meeting – from left to right: Dr. Richard Thompson, Dr. AnnMarie O’Donoghue, Mr. Salvatore Croce, Miss Niamh Ainsworth, Mr. Benjamin Devilliers, Miss Julie McLoughlin, Miss Elise Sabattié, Miss Anna Stanczak, Dr. Euan Magennis, Prof. Andrew Beeby, Prof. John Evans

 authors: J. Evans and E. Sabattie


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The 4th International Soft Matter Conference (ISMC 2016)

Salvatore (ESR1) has attended the 4th international Soft Matter conference ( in Grenoble (France) in the week 12-16 September 2016. This conference was the biggest meeting in Europe for Soft Matter Science and there were nearly 700 people from thirty-seven different nationalities and from many different disciplines, including 14 industrial companies. There were talks covering polymers, colloids, active matter and many other topics. Salvatore presented  a poster titled “Elasticity and surface segregation properties of polymers mixtures: Nanomaterial engineering” on Tuesday 13th. Grenoble is an important scientific centre and also the headquarter of the ILL (European neutron facility) and the ESRF(European synchrotron radiation facility).


Copyright: Serge Claisse, ILL Grenoble

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Advanced Applications of Fluorescence Techniques training

In the beginning of July Anna Stanczak (ERS5) traveled to Italy to participate in ‘Advanced Application of Fluorescence Techniques’ course. The course was organised by Fluorescence Foundation the educational branch of ISS and was hosted by the Institute of Food Sciences of National Research Council of Italy.

The 3 days course contained both theoretical and practical part. Lectures were presented by the experts in the field and covered a broad range of topics from the basis of fluorescence phenomena to state-of-art imaging of single molecule. The theoretical part was also complemented by the direct utilization of steady-state and lifetime fluorescence instrumentation and confocal microscopy for FLIM and FRET applications.

The full list of topics covered by the course is presented below:

  • Basic Definitions and Principles of Fluorescence
  • Fluorescence Polarization
  • Time-resolved Fluorescence
  • Instrumentation
  • Data Manipulation and Data Analysis
  • Fluorescence Probes
  • Confocal and Multiphoton Fluorescence Microscopy
  • FFS, Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy
  • FLIM, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging
  • Single Molecule Imaging

I would like to thank the Fluorescence Foundation and all of the instructors for organizing such a comprehensive course, I  definitely learnt a lot and had new ideas about fluorescence applications.

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Outreach activity at the Frankfurt International School

Salvatore Croce (ESR1) and Elise Sabattié (ESR2) delivered an outreach activity at the Frankfurt International School on 21st April 2016. The aim of the presentation was to present themselves and their work as PhD candidates to young students. They focused their presentation on superabsorbers’ chemistry and physics, allowing students to see the science behind a Pampers.

Science presentation April.JPG

More information and pictures can be found here.

author: E. Sabattie
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Salvatore’s secondment to P&G Cincinnati


ESR1 with the molecular modeling group in Beckett Ridge technical centre.

ESR1 has spent four days with the modeling and simulation group in Cincinnati (USA). He had the possibility to meet all the P&G scientists working in molecular modeling and to visit the Beckett Ridge technical centre and the Winton Hill technical centre, where he has seen the scientific laboratories and the facilities. He presented the MICSED research to different scientists from P&G Cincinnati, underling the importance of the MICSED project. Finally he had the possibility to visit the P&G general office and headquarters in Cincinnati downtown. Over there he has seen the general archive discovering the history of the first P&G brands.


Photo from P&G Headquarters (Cincinnati) about the first P&G products (candles and soaps) and some old brands. In the middle original box from 19th century.

  Author: S.Croce

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Neutron Reflectometry at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Elise was this week performing neutron reflectometry experiments at the ISIS neutron source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot near Oxford, UK. For her third beamtime she was accompanied by Ms Faye Henry (following a Master’s degree in Chemistry at Durham University) and their supervisor, Dr Richard Thompson.

With the help of Dr. Nina-Juliane Steinke, instrument owner of OFFSPEC, they measured concentration profiles of deuterated molecules in thin polymer films.


Neutron reflectometry using OFFSPEC at ISIS. From left to right: Dr. Nina-Juliane Steinke, Ms Elise Sabattie and Ms Faye Henry.

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Niamh’s Secondment to P&G Newcastle

This week Niamh traveled to P&G’s technical centre in Newcastle for training in some of the traditional protocols that industry has used to assess enzyme stability.  She’ll take this expertise back to Brussels to help her cross-calibrate and benchmark the new methods she has been developing. Many thanks to Mark Forrest for sharing his expertise!

author: J. Evans
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