Adaptive functional polymers and nanocontainers

Introducing structure hierarchy to mechanoresponsive materials to access multifunctionality

Project leader: K. M. Fromm

Team: A. Studart, C. Weder, A. Kilbinger, F. Scheffold, M. Mayer, E. Dufresne, E. Amstad

External stimuli trigger a number of chemical processes in nature. For instance, the crystallization in teeth, nacre and bone is controlled by extracellular matrix proteins (biomineralization). Inspired by these examples, this project targets the development of mechanoresponsive polymers and nanocontainers that provide hierarchical responses as a function of the stress to which they are exposed. The work planned builds on previous experience of the team on silver nanorattles, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) derivatives, the synthesis of gels and hydrogels based on dipeptides, and luminescent metal/ligand complexes, which find application in cell imaging as well as in antimicrobial formulations.

Main investigator

Involved people