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Paradigms for Emergence of Shape and Function in Biomolecular Electrolytes for the Design of Biomimetic Materials

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Technical Report,01 Apr 2010,01 Aug 2015

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Northwestern University Evanston United States

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We discovered the buckling of elastically heterogeneous nano-containers into regular and irregular polyhedral geometries observed in organelles of multicomponent proteins and in halophilic organisms. We determined the physical properties of ionic membranes. By co-assembling cationic and anionic amphiphiles programmed to form ionic crystalline vesicles we demonstrated the buckling model and produced biomimetic organelles. We extended the model to describe the blebbing of nuclear lamina in cells in patients with cancer and other serious pathologies, and discovered that blebbing is due to the segregation of two main lamins types that form the elastic membranes that protect the nucleus of cells. We discovered long-range attractions mediated by concentrated electrolytes. These depletion-like interactions are responsible for the well known salting out phenomena. We provided the rules for efficient self-replication of colloidal dimers. We demonstrated that the input of cyclic energy leads to maximum exponential growth. We discovered the functional required to performed molecular dynamics studies of charged components in dielectrically heterogeneous media, and developed efficient codes to analyze concentrated electrolyte solutions. We trained a large number of students and postdocs in soft-matter physics. We bought a computer cluster that allowed us to carry out these studies.

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