The group of materials scientists, from Imperial College London, are using Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) to investigate the nanoscale properties of their thermoexpansive gels. Dr Theoni Georgiou explains: “These gels have potential applications as injectable biomaterials for tissue engineering and drug delivery."
The researchers are using a rheometer sample environment that enables them to subject the sample to different temperature and strain conditions, whilst gathering simultaneous SANS and rheological data. This allows the sample to be characterised at the nano- and microscales, giving a multi length-scale view of the sample as it changes from a micellar suspension into a gel.
The users were excited to be the first on the beamline, even if it did mean starting their experiment on a Saturday morning! Thanks to the help of beamline scientist James Doutch, “It has been going really well; we have lots of really nice data."
James explains; "The Zoom instrument complements the neighbouring Sans2d beamline and extends our capabilities by including provision for polarised neutron beams. Future upgrade projects also include neutron beam focussing to reach the VSANS q range. This will further extend the range of science offered by the SANS suite at ISIS."