Chemistry World and Science Daily highlight our self-disposing materials

Our recent work on supramolecular materials with a time switch has been highlighted by Chemistry Worlds, Scence Daily and others. Find the articles here:

M. Tena-Solsona,* B. Rieß,* R. Grötsch , F. Löhrer, C. Wanzke,  B. Käsdorf, A. Bausch, P. Mueller-Buschbaum, O. Lieleg, J. Boekhoven
Non-equilibrium dissipative supramolecular materials with a tunable lifetime
Nature Commun.
Self-destructing material mimics nature“, Chemistry World
Supramolecular materials with a time switch“, TUM News
Self-disposing supramolecular materials with a tunable lifetime“, Science Daily
Materialien, die sich selbst entsorgen“,

Self-disposing supramolecular materials with a tunable lifetime

We’ve developed materials with a time switch.

The design principle is simple and generic. The simplicity allowed us to build it into all kinds of materials. For instance, we’ve demonstrated it works for tiny colloids (no larger than 1/100th the diameter of a human hair) that abolish themselves after a predetermined lifetime. The colloids could be used as a vehicle that releases drugs over prolonged time and exactly when needed.

We also showed the design principles could be applied to inks. The self-erasing inks could find application as a temporary top-secret message carrier. More down-to-earth would be an application as a reusable paper, that self-erases overnight, leaving you with a fresh sheet of scrap paper every morning.

The paper can be found here:
A highlight of the work can be found here:

DNA nanotechnology and peptides combined to instruct cells

The recent work published in Nature Communications is highlighted by Northwestern’s school of engineering:

A groundbreaking advancement in materials from Northwestern University could potentially help patients requiring stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritic joints or any other condition requiring tissue regeneration, according to a new study.



Nature Materials publishes our work on Energy Landscapes

The work of Faifan and me at Northwestern University got published in Nature Materials! In this work, we have studied the energy landscapes of peptide amphiphile assemblies and how to navigate through such landscapes. Such knowledge is important because we found that the position in the landscape determines the material properties, including toxicity and ability to promote cell growth. In other words, one molecule in the exact same environment can either be toxic or not depending on its position in its energy landscape.

More here:
Tantakitti, T; Boekhoven, J; Wang, X; Kazantsev, R; Yu, T; Li, J; Zhuang, E; Zandi, F; Ortony, J; Newcomb, C; Palmer, L; Gajendra; S, de la Cruz, M; Schatz, G; Stupp, S;
“Energy landscapes of supramolecular systems determine their function”

Science publishes our active materials paper

The research that Wouter Hendriksen and I worked on at TU Delft got published in Science! In this work, we push supramolecular materials out of equilibrium by means of a chemical fuel. It turned out that the active materials we form that way are transient and have a tunable lifetime. Moreover, the materials are self-regenerating as long as sufficient fuel is present. And to our surprise, we found beautiful dynamic fibres that are both growing and collapsing at the same time. See move below:

Boekhoven, J;* Hendriksen,* Koper, B; W; Eelkema, R; van Esch, J;
Transient assembly of active materials fueled by a chemical reaction
2015, Science
With perspective by van der Zwaag and Meijer:
Fueling connections between chemistry and biology”