Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CCNY Chemists Design Molecule that Responds to Stimuli

24.11.2010
The venus flytrap plant captures its prey when it senses the presence of an insect on the tips of its leaves. An amphiphilic molecule designed by chemists at The City College of New York acts in a similar manner by changing its structure when heated slightly and, then, reverting to its original form when cooled.

The finding, reported in the journal “Angewandte Chemie,” points toward the possibility of designing adaptive soft materials in the lab that take their cues from how nature responds to stimuli, said Dr. George John, associate professor and corresponding author.

Professor John and colleagues designed the molecule, which has both water-adhering and water-repelling ends, from cardanol, a naturally available material found in cashew nut shell liquid. When mixed with water, the molecules formed a self-assembled structure called a micelle with a water-adhering exterior and water-repelling interior.

Warming the micelles to 50 degrees Celsius caused them to take on a three-dimensional structure known as a vesicle that was larger – 200 – 300 nm in diameter – and viscous, much like oil. “The molecules would stick together, similar to caviar,” Professor John said. “When we touched the material with a glass rod, we could draw it out in a thin strand, much like glue.”

Allowing the material to cool resulted in the molecules reverting to their original micellar structure. When they were reheated, they would again take on the viscous form.

The change in structure resulted because, while heating caused the micelles to rearrange, they began to interlock in a bi-layer arrangement and eventually undergo curvature. Directional hydrogen bonding of the amide linkages and stacking of the aromatic ring groups, further stabilized the assembly.

The objective of the research is to study responsive systems, Professor John said. “If we can understand the influence of saturation at the bi-layer stage, we can regulate the adaptive response to stimuli.” This will require investigating the number of micelles needed in a mixture and where they need to be positioned.

Members of the team, besides Professor John, were: Dr. Sacha De Carlo, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Padmanava Pradhan, manager of CCNY’s nuclear magnetic resonance facility; postdoctoral fellow Dr. Vijai Balachandran, and graduate student Swapnil Jadhav. The research was partially supported by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.

Ellis Simon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ccny.cuny.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>