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October 28th, 2003
Researchers Create "Smart," Switchable Surfaces
Materials researchers at Iowa State University, working in part under a grant from the National Science Foundation, have demonstrated a novel coating that makes surfaces "smart"—meaning the surfaces can be switched back and forth between glassy-slick and rubbery on a scale of nanometers, the size of just a few molecules. Possible applications include the directed assembly of inorganic nanoparticles, proteins, and nanotubes, and the ultra-precise control of liquids flowing through microfluidic devices that are finding their way into biomedical research and clinical diagnostics.
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