Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists design molecule that responds to stimuli

Date:
December 6, 2010
Source:
City College of New York
Summary:
The venus flytrap plant captures its prey when it senses the presence of an insect on the tips of its leaves. An amphiphilic molecule acts in a similar manner by changing its structure when heated slightly and, then, reverting to its original form when cooled.

A cartoon representation of reversible organization from synthetic lipid-like molecules to form cell-like structures (called vesicles) upon change in temperature. The cell like structures cluster together similar to toad eggs or Caviar-like morphologies upon maintaining a particular temperature.
Credit: Image courtesy of City College of New York

The venus flytrap plant captures its prey when it senses the presence of an insect on the tips of its leaves. An amphiphilic molecule designed by chemists at The City College of New York acts in a similar manner by changing its structure when heated slightly and, then, reverting to its original form when cooled.

The finding, reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, points toward the possibility of designing adaptive soft materials in the lab that take their cues from how nature responds to stimuli, said Dr. George John, associate professor and corresponding author.

Professor John and colleagues designed the molecule, which has both water-adhering and water-repelling ends, from cardanol, a naturally available material found in cashew nut shell liquid. When mixed with water, the molecules formed a self-assembled structure called a micelle with a water-adhering exterior and water-repelling interior.

Warming the micelles to 50 degrees Celsius caused them to take on a three-dimensional structure known as a vesicle that was larger -- 200 -- 300 nm in diameter -- and viscous, much like oil. "The molecules would stick together, similar to caviar," Professor John said. "When we touched the material with a glass rod, we could draw it out in a thin strand, much like glue."

Allowing the material to cool resulted in the molecules reverting to their original micellar structure. When they were reheated, they would again take on the viscous form.

The change in structure resulted because, while heating caused the micelles to rearrange, they began to interlock in a bi-layer arrangement and eventually undergo curvature. Directional hydrogen bonding of the amide linkages and stacking of the aromatic ring groups, further stabilized the assembly.

The objective of the research is to study responsive systems, Professor John said. "If we can understand the influence of saturation at the bi-layer stage, we can regulate the adaptive response to stimuli." This will require investigating the number of micelles needed in a mixture and where they need to be positioned.

Members of the team, besides Professor John, were: Dr. Sacha De Carlo, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Padmanava Pradhan, manager of CCNY's nuclear magnetic resonance facility; postdoctoral fellow Dr. Vijai Balachandran, and graduate student Swapnil Jadhav. The research was partially supported by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by City College of New York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vijai S. Balachandran, Swapnil R. Jadhav, Padmanava Pradhan, Sacha De Carlo, George John. Adhesive Vesicles through Adaptive Response of a Biobased Surfactant. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201005439

Cite This Page:

City College of New York. "Chemists design molecule that responds to stimuli." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123151732.htm>.
City College of New York. (2010, December 6). Chemists design molecule that responds to stimuli. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123151732.htm
City College of New York. "Chemists design molecule that responds to stimuli." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123151732.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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