"Materials Structures by microscopy and statistics" is the name of one project, awarded SEK 21 million over five years. The goal is to measure, understand, and modify the mass transport properties of the soft materials. This is done by examining the microstructures of the material, as the distribution of large pores and the accumulations of such, and how the changes in structure gives changes in the transport patterns.
In order to do this the group will combine experimental work with modelling and statistical analysis such as spatial statistics and extreme value theory, and by using new microscope techniques.
Aila Särkkä provides a number of concrete examples of materials that may be considered. For instant how quickly a drug comes out of the body depending on the release of the drug substance, how a patch must be able to transport what the body wants to rid away with while protecting the wound from dirt from outside, and how a diaper absorbs and holds liquid.
It is hoped that the group's work will result in at least one new material that could be of use for the industry, in addition to expanding knowledge in the field for the benefit of future research. Besides Aila will Holger Rootzén and Mats Rudemo, both Mathematical Sciences, Eva Olsson from Technical Physics and Niklas Lorén from SIK work in the project, along with doctoral students and post-docs. It also features collaboration with SuMo BIOMATERIALS, a Chalmers VINN Excellence Centre, and partners from the Swedish industry.Niklas Lorén from SIK and Aila Särkkä from Mathematical Science