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

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses: New photonic crystal waveguide based on topological insulators paves the way to build futuristic light-based computers November 19th, 2018

Park Systems Announces Grand Opening Ceremony for Their New Office in Beijing China November 19th, 2018

Bosch provides customized IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions: Bosch Mondeville and Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions collaborate to meet a wide variety of customer requirements November 16th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses: New photonic crystal waveguide based on topological insulators paves the way to build futuristic light-based computers November 19th, 2018

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures: Rice U. invention can use fluorescing carbon nanotubes to reveal stress in aircraft, structures November 15th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

Possible Futures

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses: New photonic crystal waveguide based on topological insulators paves the way to build futuristic light-based computers November 19th, 2018

Park Systems Announces Grand Opening Ceremony for Their New Office in Beijing China November 19th, 2018

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Late-Breaking Clinical Data on ARO-AAT at Liver Meeting® 2018 November 9th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Late-Breaking Preliminary Clinical Data on ARO-HBV at Liver Meeting® 2018 November 9th, 2018

WSU researchers develop new technique to understand biology at the nanoscale November 7th, 2018

Sensors

Bosch provides customized IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions: Bosch Mondeville and Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions collaborate to meet a wide variety of customer requirements November 16th, 2018

European Commission Project Creates Pilot Line for Companies to Develop Mid-Infrared Devices: Companies Can Submit Proposals for Possible Matching Funds To Help Develop Prototypes November 13th, 2018

Mode-Changing MEMS Accelerometer from STMicroelectronics Combines High Measurement Resolution and Ultra-Low Power for Industrial Applications November 7th, 2018

Nanotech Artisans Sculpt with DNA November 5th, 2018

Discoveries

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses: New photonic crystal waveguide based on topological insulators paves the way to build futuristic light-based computers November 19th, 2018

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures: Rice U. invention can use fluorescing carbon nanotubes to reveal stress in aircraft, structures November 15th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

Materials/Metamaterials

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

Optimization of alloy materials: Diffusion processes in nano particles decoded November 13th, 2018

Unlocking the Secrets of Metal-Insulator Transitions: X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy at NSLS-II's CSX beamline used to understand electrical conductivity transitions in magnetite November 8th, 2018

Physicists name and codify new field in nanotechnology: ‘electron quantum metamaterials:’ UC Riverside’s Nathaniel Gabor and colleague formulate a vision for the field in a perspective article November 5th, 2018

Announcements

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses: New photonic crystal waveguide based on topological insulators paves the way to build futuristic light-based computers November 19th, 2018

Park Systems Announces Grand Opening Ceremony for Their New Office in Beijing China November 19th, 2018

Bosch provides customized IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions: Bosch Mondeville and Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions collaborate to meet a wide variety of customer requirements November 16th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

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

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses: New photonic crystal waveguide based on topological insulators paves the way to build futuristic light-based computers November 19th, 2018

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures: Rice U. invention can use fluorescing carbon nanotubes to reveal stress in aircraft, structures November 15th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

Environment

The materials engineers are developing environmentally friendly materials: The materials engineers are developing environmentally friendly materials for producing smart textiles November 2nd, 2018

Ultrasensitive toxic gas detector October 31st, 2018

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’ October 18th, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

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