Dr Ophelie Squillace completed her PhD from Le Mans University (France) where she developed new models of tethered membranes on flat electrodes by a versatile and economical method using surfactants and oligomers. The preparation of those electrochemical biosensors was extended to semi-conductors, which opens new avenues for biotechnological applications at high production. In 2018, she moved to the UK and started working in the Molcecular Migration in Complex Mixtures programme, an EPSRC/Industry-funded research collaboration involving Durham University, University of Birmingham, University of Sheffield, Procter and Gamble (P&G), Mondelez, and Akzo Nobel.
Better understanding of the mechanisms, molecular interactions and timescales, of molecular migration processes will enable prediction of product functionality, faster innovation of new products and the avoidance of costly over-engineering and wasted resources. She firstly joined the group of Richard L. Tompson at Durham University as a postdoctoral research associate. She focused on the dependence of the surface behaviour of some model additives (sorbitol, octanoic acids, SDS), in terms of compatibility and surface activity, on polymer thin films hydrophobicity (different degree of the hydrolysed form of polyvinyl acetate “PVAc”). She has subsequently moved to Birmingham to quantify how mechanical stress influences additives migration to interfaces and their interactions with the polymers matrices (PDMS, PVAc).