NMR/MRI in soft matter and food science

Multiscale NMR lab

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The research in our group focuses on developing and applying advanced NMR/MRI methods to multi-phase systems, from food products to biological tissues or polymeric networks, with the ultimate goal to deepen our quantitative physico-chemical understanding of such materials under challenging in vivo, in situ, or industrially-relevant conditions. Phenomena of interest encompass micro-to-macroscopic length scales, and include: self-assembly, molecular aggregation, non-Newtonian rheological properties, spatio-temporal flow heterogeneities, bubble growth, phase separation, chemical or diffusive exchange, water retention/transfer, formation/disruption of heterogeneous microstructures, and chemical reactivity.

To maximize the information content of our measurements, we combine spectroscopy, relaxometry, diffusometry, velocimetry and imaging measurements with innovative and robust data processing methods, also in combination with AI methods for big data analysis.

All ongoing projects have both a fundamental and applied character, with exposure to academic and industrial consortia, as well as opportunities for internships.

CURRENT PROJECTS

A description of the main research topics, and list of related publications and opportunities for BSc/MSc theses projects, are reported below:

 [1] NMR/MRI markers of milk protein digestion in infants. This work is part of a collaboration with HNH, FQD and WFBR within a TKI TopSector Agrifood consortium.

 [2] High-resolution flow-MRI of complex fluids and food dispersions. This work is co-sponsored by Bruker Biospin (Germany) and Unilever.

 [3] Robust qMRI image analysis of biological materials. This work is part of a national 4TU consortium on Precision Medicine.

 [4] Measurement and modelling of multiscale processed protein products. This recently granted NWO TTW MP3 project is an academic/industrial consortium with TU-Delft, DSM, Cargill, Unilever and Friesland Campina.