Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Nayani, Karthik

Committee Member/Reader

Walters, Keisha

Committee Member/Second Reader

Walker, Heather

Committee Member/Third Reader

Almodovar, Jorge


The interactions between polyelectrolytes and oppositely charged macroions have been widely studied, but few reports have been made on the interaction between chromonic mesogens and polyelectrolytes. Here, we report on the formation of liquid crystalline coacervates achieved by the liquid-liquid phase separation of an aqueous solution of negatively charged liquid crystal and polycations. As well as the occurrence of tactoids that form in the absence of these interactions. The liquid crystal that is experimented with is disodium cromoglycate, better known as DSCG. This acts as a negative charge that is paired with a variety of positively charged polyelectrolytes. The first phase of the project involved seeing if a special type of coacervate possessing liquid crystal textures would form. The first major discovery was the interaction DSCG has with one such polyelectrolyte poly-L-lysine (PLL). These two do successfully form liquid crystal coacervates! After that information was collected for all available positively charged compounds it became important to understand why certain polyelectrolytes failed to react appropriately. This was mainly studied using an isothermal titration calorimeter (ITC). This machine gives insight into the earlier conundrum as it allows for the studying of the stoichiometry of these interactions. Now what are the reasons for digging so deep into these phenomena matter? Well, a function of coacervation in several fields is protein encapsulation, and this phenomenon was observed via fluorescent microscopy as a proof of concept. The final time spent in lab was centered around property analysis of tactoid formation. Specifically, the effect of chirality in regards to tactoids. There is also import in this as tactoid formation offers a method to test the chirality or twist of any chemical. With an in-depth material analysis into interactions involving a commonly used component in DSCG along with proof of the utility of the studied interactions there is much to see in this report.


Nanosciences, Liquid Crystal, Coacervation, Tactoids, Protein Encapsulation

Available for download on Monday, April 27, 2026