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New in Nature Communications: A Modular Toolbox for Programmable and Self-Reporting Mechanosensing DNA Hydrogels

New in Nature Communications: A Modular Toolbox for Programmable and Self-Reporting Mechanosensing DNA Hydrogels

Picture: Remi Merindol

Mechanically induced rupture of polymer chains in polymer materials is a common phenomenon during processing of plastics. Nowadays these processes are increasingly exploited to create mechanosensing materials that allow to probe material failure with a colored response, or for the detailed study of cell/material interactions. However, until to date most synthetic mechanochromic materials have used covalent transformations of chromophores, serving both as force sensing units and as reporters, which hinders orthogonal engineering of their sensitivity, response and modularity. Now a team in the A3BMS Lab at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry headed by Andreas Walther has realized for the first time the integration of FRET-based, rationally tunable DNA tension probes into macroscopic 3D all-DNA hydrogels to prepare precision-engineered mechanofluorescent materials with programmable mechanosensing behavior, including sacrificial bonds and tunable stress relaxation behavior. This design addresses current limitations of mechanochromic systems by offering spatiotemporal resolution, as well as quantitative and modular force sensing in soft hydrogels. Proof-of-concept applications demonstate the possibilities to for instance complex strain fields in composite systems and to visualize freezing-induced strain patterns in homogeneous hydrogels. 

 

Veröffentlichung:
Modular Design of Programmable Mechanofluorescent DNA Hydrogels
Remi Merindol, Giovanne Delechiave, Laura Heinen, Luiz Henrique Catalani & Andreas Walther
Nature Communications, 10, 528 (2019
 
Kontakt:
Institut für Makromolekulare Chemie
Uni Freiburg
Stefan-Meier-Str. 31
79104 Freiburg