Hydrogels pp 21-24 | Cite as

Water and Surfaces: a Linkage Unexpectedly Profound

  • Gerald H. Pollack


The impact of surfaces on the contiguous water is thought to project no more than a few molecular layers from the surface. On the contrary, we have found that solutes are profoundly excluded from a several-hundred-micrometer-wide zone next to various hydrophilic surfaces, including gels. Such large “exclusion zones” appear to be quite general. Recent studies have shown that the underlying basis is a reorganization of interfacial water molecules into a liquid crystalline array, which then excludes solutes. The impact of this “fourth phase” of water appears to be broad, especially in biology.


Bulk Water Hydrophilic Surface Polyacrylic Acid Fourth Phase Underlying Basis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald H. Pollack
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonUSA

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