Session B41: Focus Session: Supramolecular Self-Assembly--Controlling Network and Gel Formation I

11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Monday, March 21, 2011
Room: A115/117

Sponsoring Units: DPOLY DBP
Chair: Aline Miller, University of Manchester

Abstract ID: BAPS.2011.MAR.B41.1

Abstract: B41.00001 : Bio-mimetic metal-ligand crosslinks yield self-healing polymer networks with near-covalent elastic moduli

11:15 AM–11:27 AM

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  Niels Holten-Andersen
    (University of Chicago)

  Matthew Harrington
    (Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces)

  Henrik Birkedal
    (University of Aarhus)

  Bruce Lee
    (Northwestern University)

  Phillip Messersmith
    (Northwestern University)

  Herbert Waite
    (University of California, Santa Barbara )

  Ka Yee Lee
    (University of Chicago)

Growing evidence supports a load-bearing role for metal-polymer interactions in biological protein networks. In particular, the strength of the coordinate bonds in metal-ligand coordination complexes combined with their capacity to reform after breaking has been proposed as a source of the high toughness and potential self-healing in certain natural materials. Some of the highest stabilities among metal-ligand coordination complexes are found between Fe3+ and catechol ligands at alkaline pH where the tris-catecholato-Fe3+ stoichiometry prevails, yet the effect of such crosslinks on material properties has not been fully characterized due to the low solubility of Fe3+ at high pH. Inspired by the pH jump experienced by marine biomaterials during secretion, we have developed a simple method to control catechol-Fe3+ inter-polymer crosslinking via pH. The resulting gels display elastic moduli (G') that approach covalently crosslinked gels as well as self-healing properties.

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