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Jun 3, 2019

Researchers can now predict properties of disordered polymers

Posted by in categories: engineering, physics

Thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, scientists are able to read patterns on long chains of molecules to understand and predict behavior of disordered strands of proteins and polymers. The results could, among other things, pave the way to develop new materials from synthetic polymers.

The lab of Charles Sing, assistant professor of chemical and at Illinois, provided the theory behind the discovery, which was then verified through experiments conducted in the lab of Sarah Perry, assistant professor of chemical engineering at UMass Amherst, and Illinois alumna. The collaborators detailed their findings in a paper titled “Designing Electrostatic Interactions via Polyelectrolyte Monomer Sequence” published in ACS (American Chemical Society) Central Science.

The colleagues set out to understand the physics behind the precise sequence of charged monomers along the chain and how it affects the polymer’s ability to create self-assembling liquid called complex coacervates.

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