Special Issue "Theory of Polymers at Interfaces II"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 2228

Special Issue Editors

Leibniz-Institut fur Polymerforschung Dresden e.V., Institute Theory of Polymers, Dresden, Germany
Interests: Theoretical Polymer and Biopolymer Physics; computer simulations in soft matter; Statistical Physics; polymers at interfaces; polymer networks; polymer solutions; polymer crystallization; polymers and nanoparticles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Martin Kröger
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Polymer Physics, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, Leopold-Ruzicka-Weg 4, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: polymer physics; computational physics; applied mathematics; stochastic differential equations; coarse-graining; biophysics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Macromolecules in the vicinity of interfaces, adsorbed, attached, or depleted from surfaces, subject to confinement, or as part of self-assembled structures, nanocomposites, or multiphase systems often exhibit properties that make them differ significantly from their bulk counterparts. Adsorbed and grafted polymers change the effective surfaces and interface properties significantly and lead to new properties, such as switchable surfaces and exceptional tribological and crystallization behavior. The conformation properties and phase transitions of polymers are strongly affected by the presence of one or more phase boundaries, and many of the resulting problems of statistical physics are not yet resolved, despite the fact that polymers at surfaces and interfaces take an integral part in polymer physics research and education today. There exist a number of fundamental results for the adsorption and interface localization of flexible and semiflexible chains, polymers under confinement, and for the properties of adsorbed and grafted polymer layers. However, many important questions remain and new problems emerge in the context of polymer/biological interfaces, the influence of monomer sequences in copolymers, depletion, tack and friction effects, or multicomponent solutions in contact with surfaces and interfaces.

This Special Issue is concerned with the statics and dynamics, theory and simulation of polymers at interfaces and surfaces, including systems and phenomena listed below, in both equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium situations. The issue may thus also address polymers at interfaces subjected to flow, external stimuli or fields. New methods to model polymers at interfaces can be reported as well. Ideally, contributions focus on fundamental results, theory developments, models, mechanisms, algorithms, statistical physics, conformational statistics, and/or applications that will help to compile the current state-of-the-art and to highlight the range of application of polymers at interfaces.

Prof. Dr. Jens-Uwe Sommer
Prof. Dr. Martin Kröge
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • interface-induced phase transitions
  • brushes
  • films
  • pores
  • confined geometries
  • nanocomposites
  • coatings
  • adsorption
  • chemisorption
  • translocation
  • depletion
  • wetting
  • crystallization
  • wear
  • friction
  • scaling behavior
  • field theories
  • conformational statistics
  • statistical polymer physics
  • kinetic theory
  • computer simulation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Proteins Adsorbing onto Surface-Modified Nanoparticles: Effect of Surface Curvature, pH, and the Interplay of Polymers and Proteins Acid–Base Equilibrium
Polymers 2022, 14(4), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14040739 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1683
Protein adsorption onto nanomaterials is a process of vital significance and it is commonly controlled by functionalizing their surface with polymers. The efficiency of this strategy depends on the design parameters of the nanoconstruct. Although significant amount of work has been carried out [...] Read more.
Protein adsorption onto nanomaterials is a process of vital significance and it is commonly controlled by functionalizing their surface with polymers. The efficiency of this strategy depends on the design parameters of the nanoconstruct. Although significant amount of work has been carried out on planar surfaces modified with different types of polymers, studies investigating the role of surface curvature are not as abundant. Here, we present a comprehensive and systematic study of the protein adsorption process, analyzing the effect of curvature and morphology, the grafting of polymer mixtures, the type of monomer (neutral, acidic, basic), the proteins in solution, and the conditions of the solution. The theoretical approach we employed is based on a molecular theory that allows to explicitly consider the acid–base reactions of the amino acids in the proteins and the monomers on the surface. The calculations showed that surface curvature modulates the molecular organization in space, but key variables are the bulk pH and salt concentration (in the millimolar range). When grafting the NP with acidic or basic polymers, the surface coating could disfavor or promote adsorption, depending on the solution’s conditions. When NPs are in contact with protein mixtures in solution, a nontrivial competitive adsorption process is observed. The calculations reflect the balance between molecular organization and chemical state of polymers and proteins, and how it is modulated by the curvature of the underlying surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory of Polymers at Interfaces II)
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