Characterizing The Microstructure Of ‘Worm-Like Micelles’ Using Rheology
Application Note Sep 22, 2015
Malvern Instruments Limited
The properties of worm-like micelles (WLMs) represent a key research area in both academia and industry. This is primarily due to the fact that they have widespread applications across a range of industries ranging from Personal Care to Oil Recovery. They offer a simple, cost effective way to generate remarkable viscosity and viscoelasticity. They can be made into 'smart' or stimuli responsive structures that can undergo transitions into another phase with strikingly different rheology. Such a response is of high interest for biomedical and drug delivery applications and also for separations using microfluidic devices.
Worm-like Micelles can be formed from a wide range of different surfactant systems (anionic, cationic and zwitterionic) and also from various block copolymers. The key interesting factor is that although they can be formed from such a wide variety of chemical species, their rheological response is strikingly similar and they have a distinct rheological signature. The theoretical developments, which are now well established and widely accepted, allow not only the detection of the structure (as revealed through the distinct rheological signature), but also allows the extraction of important structural parameters.