[Soft Matter Café] Cyclodextrin-surfactant complexes: Temperature and pH responsive supramolecular aggregates

Cyclodextrins play an important role in the self-assembly systems of amphiphiles. Among the distinguished physicochemical properties provided by the hollow shape of the cyclodextrins, the ability to form inclusion complexes with a variety of compounds has led to their wide application in different fields, as pharmaceuticals, environmental, cosmetic, food and nanotechnology industries. Surfactants are attractive candidates for host molecules due to their relevance, variety, versatility, and responsiveness. Moreover, the cyclodextrin-surfactant systems are an attractive research field, not only because of the versatility, but also due to the tendency of forming highly ordered biocompatible supramolecular aggregates. This presentation will introduce the thermodynamics aspects of the polyethylene oxide alkyl ether carboxylic acids and cyclodextrins host-guest complexes and discuss some structural aspects of the responsive supramolecular aggregates spontaneously formed.

About the speaker: Larissa dos Santos Silva Araújo graduated in chemistry in 2016 at the Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil, where she started working with surface active systems. In 2019, she obtained the master’s degree in Environmental engineering at the same university working with the optimization of biosurfactant production and the bioproduct application in a soil recovery process. Since 2019, Larissa has been working towards the PhD degree at Università degli studi di Palermo within a partnership with ILL. Her main research interests include the thermodynamic analysis and structural characterization of surfactant and polysaccharide supramolecular assemblies using small-angle neutron scattering.