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Cellular construction methods emulated
Date:3/5/2008

egate into structures such as membrane-like double layers or vesicles (bubbles). To imitate the forces involved in protein foldinghydrogen-bridge bonds and hydrophobic interactionsthe team used a disk-shaped gelator, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecular components alternate in concentric rings. Just as for proteins, like attracts like. This causes the disks to stack together into columns, which forms long fibers, generating a three-dimensional network in the solution to make a gel.

The researchers allow their surfactants and gelators to aggregate together. In this process, the different components take no notice of each other. This independent formation of different supramolecular structures within a single system is called orthogonal self-aggregation. This results in the formation of novel, complex, compartmentalized architectures, for example, interpenetrating but independent networks or vesicle configurations that coexist with gel fibers.


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Contact: Jan van Esch
j.h.vanesch@tudelft.nl
31-152-788-826
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

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