Bioinspired Designs of Active and Dynamic Soft Materials
Chemical Biology, Organic and Synthetic, Polymer, Materials, Nanoscience
University of California Irvine
Many biopolymers not only have advanced mechanical properties such as high modulus, toughness, and elasticity, but more importantly, exhibit dynamic characteristics including adaptive, malleable, and self-healing properties. Following inspirations from the Nature, Guan lab has developed various biomimetic soft materials imbued with active and dynamic properties. In one system, we have designed a series of biomimetic modular polymers with folded nano-domains as the repeat units. In another example, we have developed strong and autonomous self-healing polymers using various supramolecular and dynamic covalent interactions. In contrast to previous designs, our system spontaneously self-heals as a single-component solid at ambient conditions without the need of any external stimulus, healing agent, plasticizer, or solvent. Recently, we have also made significant progress in dissipative self-assembly of active materials. The overarching concept for all these projects is to build a direct link between microscopic molecular properties and macroscopic bulk performance. In this talk, I will discuss the design, synthesis, and property studies of these dynamic polymers including adaptive, active, and self-healing materials.