Development of new material capable of autonomous molecular organization in accordance with preprogramming
At Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (Sukekatsu Ushioda, president), Senior Researcher Kazunori Sugiyasu and co-workers (Polymer Materials Unit [Izumi Ichinose, unit director], Advanced Key Technologies Division) developed a method for preprogramming the timing of molecules to initiate self-organization by mixing molecules with modified side chains.
(a) Previously reported porphyrin molecule 1; (b) two kinds of self-organization in which porphyrin molecule 1 is able to take part. A particulate structure is formed early, but that disappears with time and then a fibrous structure is formed; (c) self-organization involving molecule 1 to form a fibrous structure begins in about four hours.
Copyright : National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
The results of this research will be published in the German Chemical Society’s journal “Angewandte Chemie International Edition” in the near future. (S. Ogi, T. Fukui, M. L. Jue, M. Takeuchi, K. Sugiyasu, Article title: “Kinetic control over pathway complexity in supramolecular polymerization through modulating the energy landscape by rational molecular design” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.201407302)
Molecular self-organization is widely observed in nature, and is a critical phenomenon in terms of developing systems that perform complex functions as seen in such natural mechanisms as photosynthesis and neurocircuits. Attempts have been made to develop new materials capable of executing advanced functions using the principle behind the phenomenon of molecular self-organization.
However, due to the spontaneous nature of molecular self-organization, it is extremely difficult to control the phenomenon by design. In particular, almost no research had been conducted to control the timing of the self-organization phenomenon including control of when to initiate it.
Recently, we conducted research using a molecule that can form two types of self-organized structures. One type of the self-organized structures was quickly formed but was energetically unstable; therefore, after a certain period of time elapsed, the other type of the self-organized structures, which was energetically more stable, was eventually formed.
By modifying the side chains of the molecule, thereby inverting the energy stability levels between the two types of self-organized structures, we were able to synthesize a new type of molecule that only forms the former self-organized structure. By changing the mixing ratios between the original and new molecules, we succeeded for the first time in the world in controlling the timing at which an energetically stable self-organized structure begins to form.
Controlling such timing is similar to the mechanism behind the biological clock in organisms from the viewpoint that in both cases, such time-controlling process is carried out by a network of molecules consisting of several chemical species.
Self-organization is a vital concept in diverse fields such as materials science, nanotechnology and biotechnology, and is attracting much attention as a new method of synthesizing materials. By applying the method we developed in this research, we intend to develop advanced systems that are capable of emitting light or changing electrical conductivity at desirable timings. In the future, we hope to develop smart materials that autonomously function corresponding to the passing of time, like biomolecular systems do.
This research was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science’s grant-in-aid for scientific research on innovative areas, “dynamical ordering of biomolecular systems for creation of integrated functions” (Koichi Kato, Project Leader, National Institutes of Natural Sciences), and “π-system figuration” (Takanori Fukushima, Project Leader, Tokyo Institute of Technology).
Mikiko Tanifuji | ResearchSEA
Custom sequences for polymers using visible light
22.03.2018 | Tokyo Metropolitan University
The search for dark matter widens
21.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences