Spontaneous Arrangement of Polymer-Covered Nanoparticles

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rope-like strands of polymer-coated nanoparticles in a bundle

Jake Song, David Mankus, Margaret Bisher, Abigail Lytton-Jean

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rope-like strands of polymer-coated nanoparticles in a bundle

This image is the result of spontaneous arrangement of polymer-covered spherical nanoparticles (i.e. ostensibly isotropic materials) into anisotropic sheets and rods upon adding bridging polymers to connect the nanoparticles. We took this image to understand how polymer-covered spherical nanoparticles assemble once bridging polymers were added to connect the nanoparticles. This image proves that we can engineer spherical nanoparticles to arrange in these remarkably anisotropic sheet/rod like structures, which in turn can be used as motifs to design hydrogels with anisotropic building blocks for use in biomedical and structural applications.