Electro-molecular Assembly: Electrical Writing of Information into an Erasable Polysaccharide Medium.

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TitleElectro-molecular Assembly: Electrical Writing of Information into an Erasable Polysaccharide Medium.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsYan, K, Xiong, Y, Wu, S, Bentley, WE, Deng, H, Du, Y, Payne, GF, Shi, X-W
JournalACS Appl Mater Interfaces
Date Published2016 Jul 25
ISSN1944-8252
Abstract

We report that information can be written into an erasable hydrogel medium by precisely imposing controlled electrical signals that trigger supramolecular self-assembly. We prepare the medium from a blend of two stimuli-responsive self-assembling polysaccharides agarose (thermally responsive) and chitosan (pH-responsive). Upon cooling the blend, agarose forms the hydrogel medium while the embedded chitosan chains can be induced to self-assemble in response to imposed pH cues. Importantly, these triggering pH-cues can be imposed electrically (by inserted electrodes) enabling complex messages (e.g., self-assembled multilayers) to be written within the hydrogel medium. The reversibility of these self-assembly mechanisms allow the written information, and the medium itself, to be erased. These physicochemical properties enable this dual responsive medium to encrypt information, while the responsiveness of this structural information and the biocompatibility of the medium suggest uses for accessing/reporting information in diverse life science applications, such as foods, cosmetics, medicine, and the environment.

DOI10.1021/acsami.6b07036
Alternate JournalACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PubMed ID27420779