In nature there are astonishingly robust, strongly bonding, universal adhesives that meet the first two requirements: mussels use them to stick to nearly all types of surfaces, from rocks to wooden posts to the metal hulls of ships. The amino acid dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) is critical to this amazing adhesive effect. The DOPA groups contained in the adhesive react stepwise under the conditions prevalent in seawater to form a cross-linked polymer matrix capable of bonding to inorganic oxides in rock. They also bind to polyvalent metal ions, such as iron ions, in seawater, which give the mussel adhesive self-healing properties.
Researchers working with Aránzazu del Campo at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz have taken inspiration from these mussel adhesives. They produced four-armed, star-shaped polymers with nitrodopamine groups attached to their ends. These groups are related to DOPA and help the adhesive to cross-link under water and give it self-healing properties. It only takes a few minutes for a cut gel sample of this material to grow back together. The nitro groups (-NO2) also provide this mussel-adhesive-inspired material with another bonus: the molecules can be split by irradiation with UV light, so the adhesive can be debonded.
The Mainz team has thus laid the foundation for a class of adhesives that are waterproof, heal themselves, react with surfaces, degrade with light, and are biocompatible. Surfaces coated with this adhesive also provide an excellent substrate for cell cultures. The primary application for this new material may thus be in medicine, possibly as removable hydrogel pads for skin regeneration or as a reversible superglue for repeated operations.About the Author
Aránzazu del Campo | Angewandte Chemie
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research