Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels

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Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels. / Chivers, Phillip Robert Anthony; Smith, David Kelham.

In: Nature Reviews Materials, Vol. 4, 07.2019, p. 463-478.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Harvard

Chivers, PRA & Smith, DK 2019, 'Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels', Nature Reviews Materials, vol. 4, pp. 463-478. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-019-0111-6

APA

Chivers, P. R. A., & Smith, D. K. (2019). Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels. Nature Reviews Materials, 4, 463-478. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-019-0111-6

Vancouver

Chivers PRA, Smith DK. Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels. Nature Reviews Materials. 2019 Jul;4:463-478. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-019-0111-6

Author

Chivers, Phillip Robert Anthony ; Smith, David Kelham. / Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels. In: Nature Reviews Materials. 2019 ; Vol. 4. pp. 463-478.

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@article{e5da53b2853a4dfa8eb4b5b48c5d4dfc,
title = "Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels",
abstract = "Supramolecular gels assemble via non-covalent interactions between low-molecular-weight gelators (LMWGs). The gels form a solid-like nanoscale network spanning a liquid-like continuous phase, translating molecular-scale information into materials performance. However, gels based on LMWGs are often difficult to manipulate, easily destroyed and have poor rheological performance. The recurring image of newly-discovered supramolecular gels is that of an inverted vial showing that the gel can support its own weight against gravity. Such images reflect the limitation that these gels simply fill the vessel in which they are made, with limited ability to be shaped. This property prevents supramolecular gels from having the same impact as polymer gels, despite greater synthetic tunability, reversibility and bio/environmental compatibility. In this Review, we evaluate strategies for imposing different shapes onto supramolecular gels and for patterning structures within them. We review fabrication methods including moulding, self-healing, 3D printing, photopatterning, diffusion and surface-mediated patterning. We discuss gelator chemistries amenable to each method, highlighting how a multi-component approach can aid shaping and structuring. Supramolecular gels with defined shapes, or patterned structures with precisely-controlled compositions, have the potential to intervene in applications such as tissue engineering and nanoscale electronics, as well as opening-up new technologies.",
author = "Chivers, {Phillip Robert Anthony} and Smith, {David Kelham}",
note = "{\circledC} 2019 Springer Nature Publishing AG. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1038/s41578-019-0111-6",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "463--478",
journal = "Nature Reviews Materials",
issn = "2058-8437",
publisher = "Springer Nature",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

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T1 - Shaping and Structuring Supramolecular Gels

AU - Chivers, Phillip Robert Anthony

AU - Smith, David Kelham

N1 - © 2019 Springer Nature Publishing AG. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

PY - 2019/7

Y1 - 2019/7

N2 - Supramolecular gels assemble via non-covalent interactions between low-molecular-weight gelators (LMWGs). The gels form a solid-like nanoscale network spanning a liquid-like continuous phase, translating molecular-scale information into materials performance. However, gels based on LMWGs are often difficult to manipulate, easily destroyed and have poor rheological performance. The recurring image of newly-discovered supramolecular gels is that of an inverted vial showing that the gel can support its own weight against gravity. Such images reflect the limitation that these gels simply fill the vessel in which they are made, with limited ability to be shaped. This property prevents supramolecular gels from having the same impact as polymer gels, despite greater synthetic tunability, reversibility and bio/environmental compatibility. In this Review, we evaluate strategies for imposing different shapes onto supramolecular gels and for patterning structures within them. We review fabrication methods including moulding, self-healing, 3D printing, photopatterning, diffusion and surface-mediated patterning. We discuss gelator chemistries amenable to each method, highlighting how a multi-component approach can aid shaping and structuring. Supramolecular gels with defined shapes, or patterned structures with precisely-controlled compositions, have the potential to intervene in applications such as tissue engineering and nanoscale electronics, as well as opening-up new technologies.

AB - Supramolecular gels assemble via non-covalent interactions between low-molecular-weight gelators (LMWGs). The gels form a solid-like nanoscale network spanning a liquid-like continuous phase, translating molecular-scale information into materials performance. However, gels based on LMWGs are often difficult to manipulate, easily destroyed and have poor rheological performance. The recurring image of newly-discovered supramolecular gels is that of an inverted vial showing that the gel can support its own weight against gravity. Such images reflect the limitation that these gels simply fill the vessel in which they are made, with limited ability to be shaped. This property prevents supramolecular gels from having the same impact as polymer gels, despite greater synthetic tunability, reversibility and bio/environmental compatibility. In this Review, we evaluate strategies for imposing different shapes onto supramolecular gels and for patterning structures within them. We review fabrication methods including moulding, self-healing, 3D printing, photopatterning, diffusion and surface-mediated patterning. We discuss gelator chemistries amenable to each method, highlighting how a multi-component approach can aid shaping and structuring. Supramolecular gels with defined shapes, or patterned structures with precisely-controlled compositions, have the potential to intervene in applications such as tissue engineering and nanoscale electronics, as well as opening-up new technologies.

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