Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Harris & Harris Group Notes Announcements by Its Portfolio Companies During the Third Quarter of 2016 September 30th, 2016

INVECAS to Enable ASIC Designs for Tomorrow’s Intelligent Systems on GLOBALFOUNDRIES' FDX™ Technology: INVECAS to Collaborate with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Provide IP and End-to-End ASIC Design Services on 22FDX® and 12FDX™ Technologies September 30th, 2016

How to power up graphene implants without frying cells: New analysis finds way to safely conduct heat from graphene to biological tissues September 30th, 2016

Innovation in Nanotechnology is Focus of Symposium: Annual event brings international experts to Northwestern Oct. 6 September 29th, 2016

Chemistry

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Carbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cells September 15th, 2016

Researchers build world's largest database of crystal surfaces and shapes September 14th, 2016

On-surface chemistry leads to novel products: On-surface chemical Reactions can lead to novel chemical compounds not yet synthesized by solution chemistry. September 13th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Harris & Harris Group Notes Announcements by Its Portfolio Companies During the Third Quarter of 2016 September 30th, 2016

How to power up graphene implants without frying cells: New analysis finds way to safely conduct heat from graphene to biological tissues September 30th, 2016

Nanosensors could help determine tumors’ ability to remodel tissue: Measuring enzyme levels could help doctors select appropriate treatments September 29th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Discoveries

How to power up graphene implants without frying cells: New analysis finds way to safely conduct heat from graphene to biological tissues September 30th, 2016

Nanosensors could help determine tumors’ ability to remodel tissue: Measuring enzyme levels could help doctors select appropriate treatments September 29th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

How to power up graphene implants without frying cells: New analysis finds way to safely conduct heat from graphene to biological tissues September 30th, 2016

Innovation in Nanotechnology is Focus of Symposium: Annual event brings international experts to Northwestern Oct. 6 September 29th, 2016

Cambrios at CEATEC - Japan 2016 September 29th, 2016

Picosun patents ALD nanolaminate to prevent electronics from overheating September 28th, 2016

Announcements

Harris & Harris Group Notes Announcements by Its Portfolio Companies During the Third Quarter of 2016 September 30th, 2016

INVECAS to Enable ASIC Designs for Tomorrow’s Intelligent Systems on GLOBALFOUNDRIES' FDX™ Technology: INVECAS to Collaborate with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Provide IP and End-to-End ASIC Design Services on 22FDX® and 12FDX™ Technologies September 30th, 2016

How to power up graphene implants without frying cells: New analysis finds way to safely conduct heat from graphene to biological tissues September 30th, 2016

Innovation in Nanotechnology is Focus of Symposium: Annual event brings international experts to Northwestern Oct. 6 September 29th, 2016

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Picosun patents ALD nanolaminate to prevent electronics from overheating September 28th, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

For first time, carbon nanotube transistors outperform silicon September 8th, 2016

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Shareholder Update August 22nd, 2016

Personal Care/Cosmetics

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic