MEMS/MatSci Seminar: Polymer Surfaces Group, Department of Materials

Mar 24

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Presenter

Dr. Edmondo M. Benetti

The application of cyclic polymers in surface functionalization enables an extremely broad modulation of interfacial physicochemical and functional properties, surpassing the attractive characteristics provided by commonly applied, linear polymer "brushes". This is valid on macroscopic, inorganic surfaces, where chemically inert, cyclic polymer brushes provide an enhanced steric stabilization of the interface and a superlubricious behavior1-4. Alternatively, when cyclic brushes form shells on inorganic nanoparticles (NPs), their highly compact and ultradense character make them impenetrable and long-lasting shields, which extend the stability of NP dispersions and hinder any interaction with serum proteins5,6. The steric and conformational constraints introduced during cyclization additionally affect the characteristics of polymer assemblies when these feature a functional character. This is the case for polymer interfaces that are chemically designed to actively interact with proteins present in the medium, or, alternatively, which respond to a chemical stimulus by a significant change in their properties.