Researchers, particularly those in the medical field, have been searching for a way to combine the properties of liquid crystallinity with those of hydrogels.
Liquid crystals are characterized as having the fluidity of liquid but some of the order of a crystal so they can be oriented to have structure. They are not water-loving, in that they will dissolve in water, making them less than ideal candidates for use inside the body.
Hydrogels, however, are water-loving but they lack the order to orient them into specific shapes.
Combining the properties of liquid crystals and hydrogels in just the right proportions creates the potential for new materials that have the same mechanical properties as soft tissues in the body. A material that is water-loving and has structure opens up the door the possibility for artificial blood vessels that are mechanically stealth so they wouldn't be viewed as a foreign body.
Professor Pat Mather has developed a process that can create this type of a polymer.
The paper "A hydrogel-forming liquid crystalline elastomer exhibiting soft shape memory" authored by Mather and graduate student Amir Torbati G'14, now a post-doc at UC Denver, was featured on the cover the Journal of Polymer Science B: Polymer Physics.
"It is a balancing act of not having too many water-loving groups in the polymer and balancing that with other chemicals in the polymer that promote structure." said Mather.
Whatever the hydrogels do to make the liquid crystals water-loving destroys the order of crystallinity, so historically creating a material like this has been a challenge but Mather's process opens to the door to new medical applications that were previously out of reach.
To see the full article visit: http://onlinelibrary.
Ariel Duchene | EurekAlert!
Nanomaterial makes laser light more applicable
28.03.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
New value added to the ICSD (Inorganic Crystal Structure Database)
27.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy