Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Materials Show Promise For Coatings, Membranes, Drug Delivery

Date:
March 19, 1998
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Purdue University researchers have developed a new class of materials that has a wide variety of potential applications, from a coating to repel liquids to a membrane that could be used in wastewater treatment and drug delivery.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University researchers have developed a new class of materials that has a wide variety of potential applications, from a coating to repel liquids to a membrane that could be used in wastewater treatment and drug delivery.

Related Articles


The materials are called co-polymer networks, which are "built" from intersecting chains of small molecules linked together to form a larger, mesh-like structure. The two molecular "building blocks," or monomers, used in the new materials are acrylic acid and a derivative of oligoethylene glycol. The properties of an individual material in the class can be varied depending on the relative amounts of the monomers used to prepare it.

"Because these materials are co-polymers, we can control their properties more precisely and over a wider range than we could if they were made of a single type of monomer," says Robert Scott, a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue who helped develop the material. "This level of versatility and control allows for a number of applications."

The new class of materials is unique in that it is the first time materials with such a wide variety of properties have been derived from a combination of these two monomers, says Scott's adviser Nicholas Peppas, the Showalter Distinguished Professor at Purdue. Peppas has conducted research in polymers for more than 26 years and has developed new materials and polymers for applications that include biomedical applications.

"The most exciting thing about this research is that we've not only developed a class of materials with diverse properties, but we've also come to understand fundamentally, on a molecular level, the basis for those properties," Scott says.

Scott will present information on the new materials in two talks March 16 at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society in Los Angeles. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The new materials, which were developed over the past four years with the help of lab assistant Atsmon Shahar, are particularly suited for separations applications, such as filtering mechanisms used in wastewater treatment, where only certain substances are allowed to pass through the mesh created by the interlacing polymers.

"As we increase the acrylic acid content of the materials, the oligoethylene glycol chains that make up the network move further apart, increasing the mesh size, which in turn determines what substances can pass through," Scott explains. "By varying the acrylic acid content, as well as other parameters, we can precisely control the size of the molecules we allow through."

Another application Scott has investigated in his lab is the controlled release of substances.

"We've made systems that contain a model drug, and we're studying how the rate of diffusion of that drug out of this polymer varies as we vary the polymer structure," Scott says. "Using the material as a membrane for drug delivery is a particularly appealing application because we have very fine control over what drugs could be released through it and under what conditions."

In addition, the acrylic acid in the materials makes them sensitive to the acidity, or pH, of their environment. The mesh size and diffusive properties vary depending on the pH of the environment -- an important consideration for drug delivery applications, since different parts of the body exhibit different pH levels. For example, a capsule incorporating this material and containing a particular drug might remain "closed" in the mouth and "open" in the stomach to release a drug.

One type of the material also can be made to have a very dense network of molecular chains, which would make it very resistant to liquids, Scott says. "In that case it might make an ideal coating for applications that require a very low permeability to moisture," he says. "We can also modify the properties so that it will absorb various amounts of liquid. We're looking very closely at how we can control its affinity for water." Depending on its affinity for water, the material might also find applications in the cosmetics industry in moisturizers, Peppas says.

Peppas says further studies of the materials will be needed before they are ready for industrial or medical use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "New Materials Show Promise For Coatings, Membranes, Drug Delivery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980319071335.htm>.
Purdue University. (1998, March 19). New Materials Show Promise For Coatings, Membranes, Drug Delivery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980319071335.htm
Purdue University. "New Materials Show Promise For Coatings, Membranes, Drug Delivery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980319071335.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins