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Title: Controlled molecular self-assembly of complex three-dimensional structures in soft materials
Authors: Huang, Changjin
Quinn, David
Suresh, Subra
Hsia, K. Jimmy
Keywords: Engineering::Chemical engineering::Biochemical engineering
Soft Matter
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Huang, C., Quinn, D., Suresh, S., & Hsia, K. J. (2018). Controlled molecular self-assembly of complex three-dimensional structures in soft materials. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(1), 70-74. doi:10.1073/pnas.1717912115
Series/Report no.: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Abstract: Many applications in tissue engineering, flexible electronics, and soft robotics call for approaches that are capable of producing complex 3D architectures in soft materials. Here we present a method using molecular self-assembly to generate hydrogel-based 3D architectures that resembles the appealing features of the bottom-up process in morphogenesis of living tissues. Our strategy effectively utilizes the three essential components dictating living tissue morphogenesis to produce complex 3D architectures: modulation of local chemistry, material transport, and mechanics, which can be engineered by controlling the local distribution of polymerization inhibitor (i.e., oxygen), diffusion of monomers/cross-linkers through the porous structures of cross-linked polymer network, and mechanical constraints, respectively. We show that oxygen plays a role in hydrogel polymerization which is mechanistically similar to the role of growth factors in tissue growth, and the continued growth of hydrogel enabled by diffusion of monomers/cross-linkers into the porous hydrogel similar to the mechanisms of tissue growth enabled by material transport. The capability and versatility of our strategy are demonstrated through biomimetics of tissue morphogenesis for both plants and animals, and its application to generate other complex 3D architectures. Our technique opens avenues to studying many growth phenomena found in nature and generating complex 3D structures to benefit diverse applications.
ISSN: 0027-8424
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1717912115
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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