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Electrogelation of Biopolymers for New Functional Materials
Final rept. 1 Jun 2010-31 May 2013
TUFTS UNIV MEDFORD MA
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In this award we build on our platform of fundamental insight and technological impact related to biopolymer-based materials, to generate a new fumily of functional biopolymer material systems. The focus was on new observations surrounding the process of electrogelation e-gel formation, as a novel mechanism to control polymer assembly- surface adhesion, hydrogelation and related features. We elucidated the mechanistic basis for 1bis process and pursued further control of the material assemblies and functional features by studying the impact of a range of environmental factors. We will also extend the process to other biopolymer systems to determine applicability and utility. For example, we will build a library of related block copolymer elastin-silk systems to evaluate e-gel impact on assembly and material functions. Further, we will explore the application space for these new materials, with a focus on surface coatings, adhesion with concepts in areas of dynamic surfaces or biomimetic self-repair surfaces and biosensor functions. We will also incorporate other dynamic biopolymer material systems to continue to expand fundamental insight into new systems and link mechanism to potential areas of utility for DoD and broader needs.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE