APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Surface display of biomolecules on chemically defined surfaces
- Catalytic reactive membranes for filtration and separation
- Fuel cells
- Unexpectedly high biological and thermal stability
- Resists degradation
- Composition facilitates use in manufacturing
- Self-assembles in solution
- Scalable and functionally controllable surfaces
- Low cost
The search for nanodevices suitable for biomedical and electronic applications has been hampered by the fact that although biological molecules can self-assemble into precisely ordered structures, they are fragile, difficult to produce in quantity, and tend to deteriorate. While two-dimensional materials are useful for fabrication of devices, such materials are quite rare in nature. Chemically defined two-dimensional materials such as self-assembled monolayers offer chemically defined surfaces, but can only be formed if they are bonded to a template for stability.
A new biomimetic material developed by Ronald Zuckermann, Tammy Chu, and Ki Tae Nam of Berkeley Lab overcomes the difficulties of controlling this geometry. Using peptoids (biomimetic polymers designed to mimic peptides and proteins), they have produced extremely stable nanosheets that spontaneously self-assemble in solution. Their precise molecular structure gives them unusual mechanical strength for a material that is 2-10 nanometers thick and hundreds of square microns in area.
Given their exceptional properties, these hydrophilic materials show promise for a wide variety of medical and mechanical applications. The polymers organize into discrete, high aspect ratio, two-dimensional sheets and resist degradation, holding up well when exposed to biological fluids and a variety of environmental factors such as salt, extreme temperatures, acidity, and solvents.
The nanosheets are easy to produce, and because they are made by solid-phase synthesis, they can be functionalized at regular intervals. This permits their use as biomimetic scaffolding material. They could also be used as membranes for filtration, separation, or compartmentalization, as well as nanostructures in device applications.
- Published Patent Application PCT/US2009/053037 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
To learn more about licensing a technology from LBNL see http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/licensing/index.html.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2633