Enhanced diffusion by binding to the crosslinks of a polymer gel
Author(s)Goodrich, Carl P.; Brenner, Michael P; Ribbeck, Katharina
MetadataShow full item record
Creating a selective gel that filters particles based on their interactions is a major goal of nanotechnology, with far-reaching implications from drug delivery to controlling assembly pathways. However, this is particularly difficult when the particles are larger than the gel’s characteristic mesh size because such particles cannot passively pass through the gel. Thus, filtering requires the interacting particles to transiently reorganize the gel’s internal structure. While significant advances, e.g., in DNA engineering, have enabled the design of nano-materials with programmable interactions, it is not clear what physical principles such a designer gel could exploit to achieve selective permeability. We present an equilibrium mechanism where crosslink binding dynamics are affected by interacting particles such that particle diffusion is enhanced. In addition to revealing specific design rules for manufacturing selective gels, our results have the potential to explain the origin of selective permeability in certain biological materials, including the nuclear pore complex.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biological Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mathematics
Nature Publishing Group
Goodrich, Carl P., Michael P. Brenner, and Katharina Ribbeck. “Enhanced Diffusion by Binding to the Crosslinks of a Polymer Gel.” Nature Communications 9, no. 1 (October 19, 2018).
Final published version