Scientists are increasingly working to develop ways to develop bio-based material which are dynamic as living things with the ability to change its properties such as shape, changes in properties, and move. Inspiring from nature, the scientists from Northwestern University have developed soft material from self-assemble into molecular superstructures and can be disassembled on demand with changes in properties of the material from sensors to robotics to drug delivery systems and ways for tissue generation.
The new bio-based material made from hydrogels which provided biological clues about micro-environment after injuries and when their superstructures reversible phenotypes in cells of the brain which are injured or healthy tissue. The results of the study were reported in the journal Science.
Stupp, director of the Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute and board of directors and professor at Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering was leading the team. Stupp and his postdoctoral fellow Ronit Freeman developed molecules made from peptides and DNA. These two molecules of material co-assembled to form water-soluble nanoscale filaments, when placed together.
When researchers placed the astrocytes with this material with filaments and its superstructure formed, the filaments become reactive. This is linked with the architecture of the cell’s microenvironment to critical changes of phenotype in injury and disease of the central nervous system.
Biologists discovered that it was possible to revert reactive astrocytes to their state by transplanting them into healthy subjects. The cell responded to the structure of the material in its environment. It gives new ideas to reduce scars in injured or injured brain tissues and spinal cord, Stupp said