Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Scientists at Tokyo Tech have developed a new self-assembled nanostructure that can survive very hot or saline environments

Fig. 1 The team used linear and cyclic block copolymers to create flower-shaped micelles. The cyclic-based micelles withstood considerably higher temperatures and salinity levels, and could have numerous applications in industry and green chemistry.
Fig. 1 The team used linear and cyclic block copolymers to create flower-shaped micelles. The cyclic-based micelles withstood considerably higher temperatures and salinity levels, and could have numerous applications in industry and green chemistry.

Abstract:
Nanostructures that assemble themselves from polymer molecules could prove to be useful tools in chemistry and industry. However, it is difficult to develop structurally robust self-assembling materials because they are often adversely affected by their surroundings.

Scientists at Tokyo Tech have developed a new self-assembled nanostructure that can survive very hot or saline environments

Tokyo, Japan | Posted on May 27th, 2013

Many natural organisms have evolved to protect themselves in hostile environments. For example, types of archaea - single-cell microorganisms living in hot springs - have cyclic molecules in their cell membranes that form shields to preserve the cell under extreme heat.

Inspired by nature's use of cyclic structures, Takuya Yamamoto and co-workers at the Department of Organic and Polymeric Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology, have dramatically enhanced both the thermal and salt stability of self-assembling polymeric structures, simply by changing the shape of the founding polymers from linear to cyclic.

The team designed new block copolymers - structures comprising several polymers connected by covalent bonding - which self-assembled into shapes called micelles (Fig.1). Micelles have a hydrophilic (water-attracting) outer membrane, and a hydrophobic (water-repelling) core.

"We designed a cyclic amphiphilic block copolymer by mimicking fat molecules in the cell membrane of archaea," explains Yamamoto. "Both linear and cyclic copolymers were then used to create identical self-assembling flower-shaped micelles." The team discovered that although the chemical composition, concentration and dimensions of micelles built from the two differently shaped block copolymers remained the same, the cyclic-based micelles were able to withstand higher temperatures.

"The micelle from cyclic block copolymers withstood temperatures up to 40°C higher than the linear-based micelles," explains Yamamoto. The researchers found that the tail ends of the linear copolymers were more likely to break loose from the flower-shaped structure during heating, allowing for bridging between micelles to occur. This meant that the micelles join together in an agglomerate blob at a relatively low temperature. The micelles created by the cyclical copolymers, on the other hand, had no ‘loose ends' to form bridges, meaning the structures remained stable up to far higher temperatures.

The same structural differences allow for a greater tolerance of salt concentrations in the cyclic-based micelles. The loose tails in linear-based micelles allowed rapid dehydration to occur in highly saline environments, whereas the closed cyclic structures are structurally stronger, making them more resilient to salt.

"The combination of higher salting-out concentrations and thermal resistance means these micelles have numerous potential applications," explains Yamamoto. "Possibilities include drug delivery systems, where heating is not possible and salt provides an alternative method for controlling how a micelle responds in order to release a drug." The team also hope that their micelles could provide the basis for many new materials in the field of green chemistry, because their structural robustness is based purely on their shape rather than on complex chemical reactions.

Reference:

1 S. Honda et al. Topology-directed control on thermal stability: micelles formed from linear and cyclized amphiphilic block copolymers. JACS Communications, published online July 2010.

2 S. Honda et al. Tuneable enhancement of the salt and thermal stability of polymeric micelles by cyclized amphiphiles. Nature Communications 4, Mar 2013.

####

About Tokyo Institute of Technology, Center for Public Information
As one of Japan’s top universities, Tokyo Institute of Technology seeks to contribute to civilization, peace and prosperity in the world, and aims at developing global human capabilities par excellence through pioneering research and education in science and technology, including industrial and social management. To achieve this mission, we have an eye on educating highly moral students to acquire not only scientific expertise but also expertise in the liberal arts, and a balanced knowledge of the social sciences and humanities, all while researching deeply from basics to practice with academic mastery. Through these activities, we wish to contribute to global sustainability of the natural world and the support of human life.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Miwako Kato and Yukiko Tokida, Center for Public Information

Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Tel: +81-3-5734-2975, Fax: +81-3-5734-3661

Copyright © Tokyo Institute of Technology, Center for Public Information

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

Electric-car battery materials could harm key soil bacteria February 11th, 2016

Creating a color printer that uses a colorless, non-toxic ink inspired by nature February 11th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Nanoparticle reduces targeted cancer drug's toxicity February 11th, 2016

Chemistry

Chemical cages: New technique advances synthetic biology February 10th, 2016

Graphene decharging and molecular shielding February 8th, 2016

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Discovery of the specific properties of graphite-based carbon materials February 6th, 2016

Self Assembly

New type of nanowires, built with natural gas heating: UNIST research team developed a new simple nanowire manufacturing technique February 1st, 2016

Researchers develop completely new kind of polymer: Hybrid polymers could lead to new concepts in self-repairing materials, drug delivery and artificial muscles January 30th, 2016

Polymer nanowires that assemble in perpendicular layers could offer route to tinier chip components January 23rd, 2016

Nanodevice, build thyself: Researchers in Germany studied how a multitude of electronic interactions govern the encounter between a molecule called porphine and copper and silver surfaces January 18th, 2016

Discoveries

Research reveals carbon films can give microchips energy storage capability: International team from Drexel University and Paul Sabatier University reveals versatility of carbon films February 11th, 2016

Canadian Scientists Develop Innovative Protein Test for Zika February 11th, 2016

Creating a color printer that uses a colorless, non-toxic ink inspired by nature February 11th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Announcements

Research reveals carbon films can give microchips energy storage capability: International team from Drexel University and Paul Sabatier University reveals versatility of carbon films February 11th, 2016

Creating a color printer that uses a colorless, non-toxic ink inspired by nature February 11th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Nanoparticle reduces targeted cancer drug's toxicity February 11th, 2016

Industrial

Nature Materials: Smallest lattice structure worldwide: 3-D lattice with glassy carbon struts and braces of less than 200 nm in diameter has higher specific strength than most solids February 3rd, 2016

New sensors to combat the proliferation of bacteria in very high-humidity environments January 23rd, 2016

Teijin to Participate in Nano Tech 2016 January 21st, 2016

Corrosion-Fighter Tesla NanoCoatings Pioneers 2x1 Wet-on-Wet Process January 20th, 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