Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Electrostatic force takes charge in bioinspired polymers

Inspired by the principles of natural polymer synthesis, Illinois chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Charles Sing, left, and graduate students Jason Madinya and Tyler Lytle co-authored a study that found they could create new synthetic materials by tuning the electrostatic charge of polymer chains.
CREDIT
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Inspired by the principles of natural polymer synthesis, Illinois chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Charles Sing, left, and graduate students Jason Madinya and Tyler Lytle co-authored a study that found they could create new synthetic materials by tuning the electrostatic charge of polymer chains. CREDIT Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Abstract:
Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have taken the first steps toward gaining control over the self-assembly of synthetic materials in the same way that biology forms natural polymers. This advance could prove useful in designing new bioinspired, smart materials for applications ranging from drug delivery to sensing to remediation of environmental contaminants.

Electrostatic force takes charge in bioinspired polymers

Champaign, IL | Posted on November 2nd, 2017

Proteins, which are natural polymers, use amino acid building blocks to link together long molecular chains. The specific location of these building blocks, called monomers, within these chains creates sequences that dictate a polymer's structure and function. In the journal Nature Communications, the researchers describe how to utilize the concept of monomer sequencing to control polymer structure and function by taking advantage of a property present in both natural and synthetic polymers - electrostatic charge.

"Proteins encode information through a precise sequence of monomers. However, this precise control over sequence is much harder to control in synthetic polymers, so there has been a limit to the quality and amount of information that can be stored," said Charles Sing, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Illinois and a study co-author. "Instead, we can control the charge placement along the synthetic polymer chains to drive self-assembly processes."

"Our study focuses on a class of polymers, called coacervates, that separate like oil and water and form a gel-like substance," said Sarah Perry, a study co-author and University of Massachusetts, Amherst chemical engineering professor, as well as an Illinois alumna.

Through a series of experiments and computer simulations, the researchers found that the properties of the resulting charged gels can be tuned by changing the sequence of charges along the polymer chain.

"Manufacturers commonly use coacervates in cosmetics and food products to encapsulate flavors and additives, and as a way of controlling the 'feel' of the product," Sing said. "The challenge has been if they need to change the texture or the thickness, they would have to change the material being used."

Sing and Perry demonstrate that they can rearrange the structure of the polymer chains by tuning their charge to engineer the desired properties. "This is how biology makes the endless diversity of life with only a small number of molecular building blocks," Perry said. "We envision bringing this bioinspiration concept full circle by using coacervates in biomedical and environmental applications."

The results of this research open a tremendous number of opportunities to expand the diversity of polymers used and the scale of applications, the researchers said. "Currently, we are working with materials on the macro scale - things that we can see and touch," Sing said. "We hope to expand this concept into the realm of nanotechnology, as well."

###

The National Science Foundation and the U. of I. Graduate College supported this research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lois E Yoksoulian

217-244-2788

Charles Sing
217-244-6671;


Sarah Perry
413-545-6252

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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 Links

The paper "Sequence and entropy-based control of complex coacervates" is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01249-1E:

Related News Press

News and information

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 18th, 2019

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Nanoparticles may have bigger impact on the environment than previously thought: Non-antibacterial nanoparticles can cause resistance in bacteria October 17th, 2019

Possible Futures

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Nanomedicine

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

SUNY Poly Receives $75,000 National Science Foundation Award for Development of Bioengineered and Improved Blood Thinner: Grant is Part of Collaboration with TEGA Therapeutics, Inc. Supporting Research Leading to Engineered Cells and Production of a Scalable Heparin Product October 8th, 2019

Sensors

Nanoscale manipulation of light leads to exciting new advancement: UNM researchers find decreasing the density of nanoparticles in ordered arrays produces exceptional field enhancements October 11th, 2019

Product authentication at your fingertips: UC Riverside-led research brings rapid and reversible switching of plasmonic color to solids October 4th, 2019

Researchers repurpose failed cancer drug into printable semiconductor October 3rd, 2019

MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress Technology Showcase Finalists Highlight Innovations in Automotive, Biomedical and Consumer Electronics: MSIG MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress – October 22-24, 2019, Coronado, Calif. October 1st, 2019

Discoveries

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Nanoparticles may have bigger impact on the environment than previously thought: Non-antibacterial nanoparticles can cause resistance in bacteria October 17th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Physicists found weak spots in ceramic/graphene composites: Physicists found out the structures in nanomaterials made of ceramic and graphene plates, in which cracks appear most frequently September 27th, 2019

Turning heat into electricity: A new thermoelectric material developed at FEFU: Young scientists from FEFU manufactured new thermoelectric material based on strontium titanate and titanium oxide September 27th, 2019

The future of materials with graphene nanotubes starts in Japan September 19th, 2019

A Quantum Leap: $25M grant makes UC Santa Barbara home to the nation’s first NSF-funded Quantum Foundry, a center for development of materials for quantum information-based technologies September 16th, 2019

Announcements

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 18th, 2019

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Nanoparticles may have bigger impact on the environment than previously thought: Non-antibacterial nanoparticles can cause resistance in bacteria October 17th, 2019

Physics: DNA-PAINT super-resolution microscopy at speed: Optimized DNA sequences allow for 10-times faster image acquisition in DNA-PAINT October 11th, 2019

Environment

Do you Kyoto? World-leading companies share their approaches to environmentally friendly business at NAUM’19 October 14th, 2019

Physics: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere October 11th, 2019

Inspired by natural signals in living cells, researchers design artificial gas detector: Tiny box puts itself together and glows September 13th, 2019

This new nanotech could help clean up Earth’s microplastics August 3rd, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project