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Virus-based colloidal molecules : from asymmetric diblocks to stars.


In this PhD project, hybrid colloids with tunable architecture will be designed from bioengineered fd virus specifically associated with metallic nanoparticles as a mesoscale analog of block copolymers. As a consequence of the large persistence length of the virus, virus based colloildal stars (See figure below) are expected to offer a novel extremely long range soft potential and a rich phase diagram that will be investigated both in the direct and reciprocal space combining microscopy and scattering techniques. These colloidal stars with tunable spatial distribution of the viral arms will allow for dynamics study at the single particle scale. Finally, in a collaboration with a german group, amphiphilic hybrids will be produced by combining the viruses with thermoresponsive microgels in bulk or at interface with the ultimate goal to create colloidal analogs of block copolymers or surfactants, whose effective packing parameters will define the hierarchical assembly into spherical, worm-like or vesicular structures reversibly with temperature.

Figure : Star-like colloid formed by the self-assembly of fd filamentous virus and metallic nanoparticles (core) observed by fluorescence optical microscopy. The size of each arm (corresponding to a virus) is 1 µm. Various experimental techniques will be provided in our research group, including standard methods for chemical and biological functionalizations, operating optical (confocal, fluorescence) and electron microscopes. Other facilities like X-ray and light scattering are also available.  [1]


- Eric Grelet
Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (CRPP) UMR 5031
115 Av Schweitzer, 33600 Pessac, FRANCE ;
E-mail : Eric Grelet ; Tél : 05 56 84 56 13

[1] References : Rod-like virus based multiarm colloidal molecules A. de la Cotte, C. Wu, M. Trévisan, A. Repula, E. Grelet ACS Nano 11, 10616 (2017).

Fast Diffusion of Long Guest Rods in a Lamellar Phase of Short Host Particles L. Alvarez, M. P. Lettinga, and E. Grelet Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 178002 (2017).