Molecular design and functional control of novel self-oscillating polymers

Yusuke Hara*, Shingo Maeda, Shuji Hashimoto, Ryo Yoshida

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    If we could realize an autonomous polymer system driven under biological conditions by a tailor-made molecular design, human beings could create unprecedented biomimetic functions and materials such as heartbeats, autonomous peristaltic pumps, etc. In order to achieve this objective, we have investigated the molecular design of such a polymer system. As a result, we were the first to demonstrate a self-oscillating polymer system driven in a solution where only malonic acid existed, which could convert the chemical energy of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction into a change in the conformation of the polymer chain. To cause the self-oscillation in solution, we have attempted to construct a built-in system where the required BZ system substrates other than the organic acid are incorporated into the polymer itself. That is, the novel polymer chain incorporated the metal catalyst of the BZ reaction, a pH-control site and an oxidant supply site at the same time. As a result of introducing the pH control and oxidant supply sites into the conventional-type self-oscillating polymer chain, the novel polymer chain caused aggregation-disaggregation self-oscillations in the solution. We clarified that the period of the self-oscillation of the novel self-oscillating polymer chain was proportional to the concentration of the malonic acid. Therefore, the concentration of the malonic acid can be determined by measuring the period of the novel self-oscillating polymer solution. In this review, we introduce the detailed molecular design of the novel self-oscillating polymer chain and its self-oscillating behavior. Moreover, we report an autonomous self-oscillating polymer gel actuator that causes a bending-stretching motion under the constant conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)704-718
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb


    • Bz reaction
    • Gel
    • Polymer actuator
    • Self-oscillation; polymer chain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science Applications
    • Molecular Biology
    • Catalysis
    • Inorganic Chemistry
    • Spectroscopy
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


    Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular design and functional control of novel self-oscillating polymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this