"Reversible macromolecules" as scaffolds for adaptive structures

Timothy Edward Long*, Casey L. Elkins, Lars Kilian, Taigyoo Park, Scott R. Trenor, Koji Yamauchi, Ralph H. Colby, Donald J. Leo, Brian J. Love

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Self-healing macromolecular structures, submicron capsules and fibers with molecular recognition, stimuliresponsive molecules, solvent-free rheological reversibility, multivalency in rational drug design, and the emergence of new fields of adaptive and evolutive chemistry will require a predictive synergy of tailored non-covalent and covalent bonding in molecular design. Supramolecular chemistry has emerged as a stimulating focal point that will enable these scientific and technological discoveries, and biorecognition and biomolecular organization often serve as the inspiration for the future design of supramolecular assemblies. Linear and branched macromolecules are conventionally prepared using unique combinations of step-growth and chain polymerization strategies wherein the repeating units are irreversibly connected using stable covalent bonds. Moreover, optimum physical properties and commercial success of macromolecules are derived from our ability to prepare exceptionally high molecular weights in a controlled fashion. Although high molecular weight linear macromolecules are desirable for the optimization of physical performance and commercial impact, high molecular weights often compromise future solvent-free manufacturing, melt processability, thermal stability, and recyclability of the final products. Our recent efforts have demonstrated the utility of living anionic polymerization techniques to place functionality at desired positions on the polymer backbone. This control allowed investigation of the relationship between topology and tailored functionality, a fundamental investigation that may lead to interesting adaptive and smart applications. Specifically, the synthesis of polyisoprene homopolymers in a variety of topologies was performed, as well as the introduction of complementary hydrogen bonding to diverse families of hydroxyl containing polymeric and monomeric precursors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Aerospace Division (Publication) AD
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes
Event2003 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress - Washington, DC., United States
Duration: 2003 Nov 152003 Nov 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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