Anand Kumar Rajasekharan
Mesoscopically Ordered Composite Materials
Combining Molecular Self-Assembly and Additive Manufacturing to mimic Natural Composites
Biomimetic composites inspired from the structure and chemistry of natural composites like bone might pave way for future high performance materials for medical and structural applications. In view of developing such a material, I aim to form a novel, synthetic bone inspired from the nanostructure and chemistry of cortical bone, with applications as orthopaedic implants. We combine bottom up self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules and calcium phosphate with top-down additive manufacturing in the aim of forming hierarchically structured, bone-mimetic composite materials.
The Composite vs Natural Bone:
Natural bone is composed of micron-sized subunits with ordered assemblies of collagen fibrils reinforced by poorly crystalline and nanosized apatite. An earlier work had successfully synthesized nanostructured bone-like apatite within aqueous domains of various lyotropic liquid crystal (LLC) gel structures . LLCs are ordered materials formed by the self-assembly of amphiphiles in presence of water. These structures can be used to mimic biomineralization processes due to their inherent ability to control crystallization of different inorganic materials. We cross-link these LLC gels to yield ordered and rigid polymers which can act as soft matrices to control crystallization of apatite particles as well as hold them together in an ordered and well separated fashion.
- He, W., et al., Formation of Bone-like Nanocrystalline Apatite Using Self-Assembled Liquid Crystals. Chemistry of Materials, 2012. 24(5): p. 892-902.
- He, W., et al., Mesoscopically Ordered Bone-Mimetic Nanocomposites. Adv. Mater., 2015.
-Anand Kumar Rajasekharan
PhD student, Applied Chemistry
Dept. Of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Chalmers University of Technology