Cecile Dreiss
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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Dreiss' research focuses on characterising and understanding self-assembly processes in a range of polymeric and colloidal systems. Self-organisation driven by electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bonds or hydrophobic interactions is ubiquitous in nature and determines the mechanical and functional properties of materials.

Projects in Dr Dreiss group, aim at understanding the principles of this self-organisation and building-up relationships between structure on the nanoscale and the macroscopic properties which result from it, such as rheology.

Small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering are used to probe the structure of systems of interest, covering a wide range of length scales down to the angstrom-size. The method of contrast-variation (with neutrons), which uses selective deuteration, offers the unique possibility of alternately hiding or highlighting constituents of interest, a key-attribute in these complex multi-component systems.

Current projects and systems of interest include:

  • Wormlike micelles formed in mixtures of surfactants; effect of oil encapsulation and additives; interaction with hydrophobically modified biopolymers;
  • Polymeric micelles and their potential as drug carriers; change in aggregates structure in the presence of drug; effect of pH and temperature; complexation with cyclodextrin and competitive interactions;
  • Oligomerisation and fibrillation of amyloidogenic proteins and peptides: structure, kinetic pathway and mechanism of formation
  • Biopolymers gels from gelatin and mixtures with natural polymers; competition between physical and chemical gelation (enzymatic crosslinking); applications in tissue engineering

Research interests (short)

Colloid science; self-assembly; surfactants; polymers; protein fibrillation; biopolymer gels

Biographical details

Cécile Dreiss is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding and exploiting self-assembly in soft matter, spanning colloidal, polymeric and biological systems, by establishing relationships between properties on the macro-scale (bulk behaviour or functionality) and the organization on the nanoscale. She uses neutron and X-ray scattering techniques extensively as well as rheology.

Cécile graduated in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (ENSIC, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques, France). She did her PhD at Imperial College (Chemical Engineering) under the supervision of Prof Dame Julia Higgins and Prof Paul Luckham (2003), after which she took up a 2-year postdoc position at the University of Bristol with Prof. Terence Cosgrove. She then moved back to London and was appointed as a lecturer at King's College London in September 2005.

Cécile sits on the RSC/SCI Joint Colloids Group (Vice-secretary and Newsletter Editor), Macrogroup UK, Polymer Physics Group and the ILL College 9 panel (Structure and Dynamics of Soft Condensed Matter).

Cécile is organising a conference on Polymeric and Self-Assembled Hydrogels at King’s College London, on 4-5 September 2012. More information can be found by following this link.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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