Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nature: super gel stiffens when heated

Supergel nanowires forming a netRadboud University Nijmegen
Supergel nanowires forming a net

Radboud University Nijmegen

Abstract:
It stiffens when heated and retains moisture a hundred times better than other gels. Chemists at Radboud University Nijmegen have created a gel made from helical polymers. The molecules twist together to form a ‘nano rope', from which strong, stiff networks are produced. What is unusual is that a solution of the material is liquid when cold and turns into a gel when warmed - exactly the opposite of what happens to gelatine, for example. The leading scientific journal Nature published a paper showing how the ‘super gel' works and its properties on 24 January. Together with the business community, the researchers are also developing various biomedical applications for this extraordinary gel.

Nature: super gel stiffens when heated

Netherlands | Posted on January 23rd, 2013

Inspired by nature

The Nijmegen chemists Prof. Alan Rowan and Dr Paul Kouwer were inspired by the proteins that provide the cells in our bodies with their strength. Each cell contains thousands of these very thin but strong threads. They were able to mimic the winding structure of these proteins using a synthetic polymer - polyisocyanide (PIC). Kouwer: ‘We've made a copy that is almost exactly the same as the natural original, which is unprecedented. Not only is the structure of our material strikingly similar to the cell proteins, but the strength and sensitivity of the two materials are practically identical, even if you suddenly pull them hard.' The structure provides the polymer with its unusual gel response - less than one gram of the solid substance needs to be added to a bucket of water to produce a strong gel. It therefore has a gel response one hundred times better than the commonly-used super gels (in nappies for example).

Stiffens when heated, melts in the refrigerator

What is also unusual about this substance is that it stiffens when the solution is warmed. The researchers show in Nature that the transition temperature of the solution can be varied between room temperature and body temperature, and the ability to adjust this temperature is very important in biomedical applications. The gel melts again when it is cooled.

Applications and patents

The structure of the gel implies huge opportunities for biomedical applications. Various options are being explored in partnership with Noviotech, a commercial partner of the Radboud University Nijmegen and Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. Rowan: ‘One application is as a medium for the growth and manipulation of cells. Another potential application is in wound treatment. Once applied, the gel protects the wound: the microscopic structure allows fluid to pass through but keeps bacteria out. Once the wound has healed, the ‘plaster' can be easily removed by cooling the gel.' More and more possible applications for the super gel are emerging, with filters for nanomaterials and even cosmetic applications currently being investigated.

Fundamental and applied research

The paper published in Nature describes the fundamental properties of this unusual material. ‘When we first produced the material in the laboratory two years ago we knew that it was a very special substance, but did not yet understand why. The follow-up research has produced some fantastic results. And then I don't mean just the publication of this paper, but also and especially the fact that the fundamental research has made the various applications much more feasible,' Prof Rowan states.


Full bibliographic information

Title: Responsive biomimetic networks from polyisocyanopeptide hydrogels
Publication: Nature 2013, january 24
Authors: Paul H. J. Kouwer, Matthieu Koepf, Vincent A. A. Le Sage, Maarten Jaspers, Arend M. van Buul, Zaskia H. Eksteen-Akeroyd, Tim Woltinge, Erik Schwartz, Heather J. Kitto, Richard Hoogenboom, Stephen J. Picken, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Eduardo Mendes and Alan E. Rowan

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Alan Rowan
Radboud University Nijmegen
Institute for Molecules and Materials IMM
+316 53 33 71 58/+31 24 365 2323

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Imec Reports Four Percent Growth for 2013 Fiscal Year End —Continues to Accelerate Innovation Through Global Collaborations and Technological Breakthroughs in Nanoelectronics— April 24th, 2014

Multicapacity Microreactor for Catalyst Characterisation April 24th, 2014

Making graphene work for real-world devices: Fundamental research in phonon scattering helps researchers design graphene materials for applications April 24th, 2014

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

Chemistry

Thinnest feasible membrane produced April 17th, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Scientists Succeed in Simultaneous Determination of Acetaminophen, Codeine in Drug Samples April 9th, 2014

Good vibrations: Using light-heated water to deliver drugs - Researchers use near-infrared light to warm water-infused polymeric particles April 1st, 2014

Nanomedicine

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

University of Tehran Researchers Invent Non-Enzyme Sensor to Detect Blood Sugar April 23rd, 2014

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell April 23rd, 2014

QuantuMDx announce prototype handheld lab for 15 minute malaria diagnosis and drug resistance testing April 23rd, 2014

Discoveries

Making graphene work for real-world devices: Fundamental research in phonon scattering helps researchers design graphene materials for applications April 24th, 2014

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

Protecting olive oil from counterfeiters April 24th, 2014

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell April 23rd, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Nanomaterial Outsmarts Ions April 22nd, 2014

Thinnest feasible membrane produced April 17th, 2014

INSCX™ exchange to present Exchange trade reporting mechanism for engineered nanomaterials (NMs) to UK regulation agencies, insurers and upstream/downstream users April 17th, 2014

Announcements

Imec Reports Four Percent Growth for 2013 Fiscal Year End —Continues to Accelerate Innovation Through Global Collaborations and Technological Breakthroughs in Nanoelectronics— April 24th, 2014

Multicapacity Microreactor for Catalyst Characterisation April 24th, 2014

Making graphene work for real-world devices: Fundamental research in phonon scattering helps researchers design graphene materials for applications April 24th, 2014

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Harris & Harris Group Notes Mersana's Collaboration Agreement With Subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. April 8th, 2014

Nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct April 3rd, 2014

A*STAR's Simtech collaboration agreements to accelerate the growth and development of the microfluidics industry April 1st, 2014

Dolomite releases novel droplet-on-demand sequencing and droplet generation microfluidic system April 1st, 2014

Personal Care

Good vibrations: Using light-heated water to deliver drugs - Researchers use near-infrared light to warm water-infused polymeric particles April 1st, 2014

Iranian Food Industry Utilizes Lipid Nanocarriers for Beta-Carotene Enrichment January 23rd, 2014

ASTM International Nanotechnology Committee Approves Airborne Nanoparticle Measurement Standard December 10th, 2013

Antibacterial Nanocomposites Produced from Offset Lithography Inks December 1st, 2013

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE