Phytoglycogen is a highly branched, water-soluble sugar produced by plants that is very similar to glycogen, an energy storage molecule in animals. The Dutcher laboratory has succeeded in isolating monodisperse phytoglycogen nanoparticles from certain varieties of corn, and these particles are attractive candidates for a wide variety of cosmetic, industrial and medical applications. Many of these promising applications arise because of a range of interesting physical properties resulting from the interaction between the particles and water: (1) high solubility; (2) low viscosity and high stability in aqueous dispersions; and (3) a remarkable capacity to sequester and retain water. These properties will be discussed as well as the comprehensive neutron scattering data that investigates the structure, interactions and water dynamics of phytoglycogen.
Graduate Seminar Series
The seminar series consists of weekly talks designed and delivered by graduate students within the department. The goal of this project is to expose upper-level undergraduates to current physics research. The talks are aimed at the fourth-year level, but all are welcome and encouraged to attend.