RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Recognizing that some of the leading scientists and engineers involved in soft matter research are located in the Research Triangle Park area, the National Science Foundation has provided a six-year, $13.6 million grant to establish a multi-university center to investigate aspects of this promising area of scientific endeavor.
Researchers from Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University will focus their collective expertise on facets of soft matter research, a branch of materials science with almost limitless practical applications, from organic solar cells to tissue implants to new classes of drugs.
In general terms, soft matter describes such states of matter as foams, gels, polymers or emulsions. They are typically created by combining smaller particles such as DNA, proteins, nanoparticles to form larger structures with novel properties. The researchers involved in this project will not only investigate how and why these particles assemble in certain ways, but also how this assembly can be manipulated to achieve soft matter with defined characteristics.
The new initiative will be known as the Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The center joins a network of university centers across the country, each of which has a specific focus on a cutting edge area of materials science.
"We believe that the Triangle MRSEC will become an important national and international center for innovation in the field -- including the theoretical generation of new insights, creation of new functional materials, development of new applications, commercialization and education," said principal investigator Gabriel Lpez, professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, and materials science at Duke.
"The fundamental understanding, design and application of these new typ
|Contact: Richard Merritt|