Self-assembling macromolecules created

Institute Director S. Richard Turner and doctoral candidate Min Mao reported the synthesis of a new family of charged, rod-like block copolymers. The tiny rods can be either positive or negative, or can have alternating positive and negative charges along the backbone.

The rods self-assemble and the aggregated structures are remarkable stable in saline solution, Turner said. The stable self-assembled structures could have potential applications in drug delivery and gene delivery systems.