As one of the most important classes of soft materials, supramolecular materials are of a mixture of networks of molecular chains/fibrils and a liquid. These self-assembled fibrous/ molecular architectures exhibit various functionalities, ie. superhydrophobicity or superior mechanical strength, etc. and consist of the controllable structures. They can be functioned via micro/nano engineering, to have some particular added functions, ie. emission materials, tissue engineering scaffolds, bio imaging and sensing materials etc. They have therefore found broad applications in photography, cosmetics, food and petroleum industries and not the least in the biomedical sector where there is strong interest in these materials as drug delivery agents. The book covers the most important soft functional materials, including small molecule physical gels, silkworm silk and spider silk fibers and functional fibers, with respect both to the fundamentals and to development and engineering methods.
It provides the reader with the necessary knowledge on the chemical and physical formation mechanisms of these materials and demonstrates that one can rationally design and tune the fibrillar networks so that the resulting materials exhibit the desired functionalities. This work is a must-have for all Materials Scientists, Polymer Chemists, Condensed Matter Physicists, and Biotechnologists working in this interdisciplinary field.
Jing Liang Li is a research academic in the Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation, at Deakin University, Australia. He got his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2004. Before moving to Australia, he worked as a research fellow in Professor Xiang Yang Liu's group at the Physics Department of the National University of Singapore on the research of supramolecular soft materials. He has published more than 40 papers, most of which are in this area. Xiang Yang Liu is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Having obtained his PhD degree from the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, he spent his career working for Unilever Research Port Sunlight Lab before taking up his present appointment at NUS. Professor Liu has authored or co-authored more than 170 scientific publications and has received numerous scientific awards, including the 2007 Outstanding Researcher Award from NUS.
SECTION I: Small Molecule Gels MOLECULAR GELS AND THEIR FIBRILLAR NETWORKS Introduction Advances and Perspectives for Design of Gelators Stimulation of Gelation by Perturbations Other Than Temperature Kinetic Models for Following One-Dimensional Growth and Gelation Advances and Perspectives for a Priori Design of Gelators Some Final Thoughts ENGINEERING OF SMALL-MOLECULE GELS BASED ON THE THERMODYNAMICS AND KINETICS OF FIBER FORMATION Introduction Fiber Networks of SMGs Crystallization of Nanofibers Strategies for Engineering the Micro/Nano Structure of Fiber Networks Engineering the Macroscopic Properties of Gels by Design of Fiber Networks Conclusions APPLICATIONS OF SMALL-MOLECULE GELS - DRUG DELIVERY Introduction Hydrogels in Pharmaceutical Applications Organogels in Pharmaceutical Applications Organogel Delivery of Bioactive Factors in Regenerative Medicine Future Directions: Hybrid Organogels Conclusion MOLECULAR GELS FOR TISSUE ENGINEERING Introduction Low-Molecular-Weight Gelators and Molecular Gels Self-Assembly and Gel Structures Applications of Hydrogels in Tissue Engineering Summary MOLECULAR GELS FOR CONTROLLED FORMATION OF MICRO-/NANO-STRUCTURES Introduction Structure of Metal/Transition Metal Oxide and Sulfate Metallic Nanostructures Controlled Formation of Organic and Composite Structures Controlling Crystal Growth of Pharmaceutical Substances Conclusions and Perspectives SECTION II: Natural Silk Fibrous Materials SPIDER SILK: STRUCTURE, ENGINEERING, AND APPLICATIONS Introduction Mechanical Design of Spider Silk Mimicking Spider Silk Applications FUNCTIONALIZATION OF COLORED/FLUORESCENT SILKWORM SILK FIBROUS MATERIALS Introduction Legend and History of Silkworm Silk The Structure of Silkworm Silk Functionalization of Silkworm Silk Summary and Outlook SECTION III: Smart Fibers FLEXIBLE NANOGENERATOR AND NANO-PRESSURE SENSOR BASED ON NANOFIBER WEB OF PVDF AND ITS COPOLYMERS Introduction Electrospinning Mechanism and Set-up Nanofiber Web Piezoelectric Properties of Electrospun Web of PVDF and its Copolymer Flexible Devices Conclusion ELECTROSPUN NANOFIBERS FOR REGENERATIVE MEDICINE Introduction Electrospinning of Nanofibers Controlling the Alignment of Nanofibers Nanofiber Scaffolds with Complex Architectures Applications in Regenerative Medicine Concluding Remarks INDEX