Symposium BM09—Bioinspired Macromolecular Assembly and Inorganic Crystallization—From Tissue Scaffolds to Nanostructured Materials
Living organisms produce a wide variety of complex, nano-, micro-, and macroscale structured functional materials at high yields in an energy-efficient and highly reproducible manner, all under rather mild aqueous synthetic conditions. Throughout these processes, the high information content of specialized biomacromolecules, such as proteins, peptides and carbohydrates, enables 1) hierarchical organization to assemble scaffold materials and execute high-level functions; and 2) precise control over inorganic crystal nucleation, growth kinetics, phase and morphology, ultimately giving rise to biominerals with versatile functions. Inspired by nature, significant efforts been made towards developing the ability to mimic in vivo functions of these biomacromolecules by using engineered proteins, peptides, DNA, sequence-defined synthetic molecules (e.g. peptoids) and other biomimetic polymers. These efforts address one of the grand challenges of materials science—to design and synthesize functional materials that rival those found in biology.
This symposium will highlight recent developments in exploiting (bio)macromolecules 1) for self-assembly of soft matter with hierarchical structures, and 2) for controlling inorganic (nano)crystal nucleation and growth and assembly of inorganic (nano)crystals into superstructures. It will also address 3) the most recent insights obtained in the principles underlying (bio)macromolecular self-assembly, bio-controlled crystal formation and biomineralization (including using in situ molecular imaging and computational tools).