Combining Bio-Inspired Self-Assembly with Chemical Functionalization in the Design of Discrete Oligomeric Building Blocks and High Performance Hydrogels

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Schematic representation of well-defined ellipsoidal nanoparticles prepared from the controlled self-assembly of block copolymers driven by surfactant mixtures. Applications for these novel materials range from camouflage systems to drug-delivery vehicles.

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With almost a billion years head start, Nature has devised elegant solutions to a major challenge - the pursuit of stronger, cleaner, or more flexible materials, from a very limited set of building blocks. The major goal of this project is to prepare synthetic systems based on the design principles found in Nature. Recent inspiration has come from the novel ways that marine organisms use ionic bonding and switchable systems to prepare coatings, adhesives and self-healing materials. It is anticipated that these synthetic mimics will have enhanced and more diverse properties when compared to the natural systems.



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