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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers Into Particles and Gels: Model Biomaterials

Location

Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Division

RO# Location
50.64.21.B8027 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Beers, Kathryn L. kathryn.beers@nist.gov 301.975.2113
Prabhu, Vivek M. vprabhu@nist.gov 301.975.3657

Description

Synthetic biomaterials must pass rigorous clinical, toxicological, and regulatory tests before they are introduced into practice. In order to design new materials with specialized properties (e.g., size and shape, viscosity, elastic modulus, drug loading capacity) an improved set of measurement methods and test of modern theory and simulations are required to develop structure-property guidelines. This research opportunity involves experimental studies of macromolecules with novel chain architectures for their characterization of solution self-assembled structure and transport properties in multicomponent solutions. We are particularly interested in block copolymer and tri-block copolymer materials with varying degree of hydrophobicity to control the interaction strength in aqueous environments. These materials self-assemble into well-defined polymer nanoparticles for drug encapsulation as well as thermoreversible gels for site-directed self-assembly. Measurement of the polymer physical chemistry in these systems will formulate structure-property relationships for next-generation biomaterials. Specialized experimental methods available to this opportunity include static and dynamic light scattering, small-angle neutron scattering, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

 

Reference

Venkataraman S, et al: Macromolecules 46: 4839, 2013

 

Keywords:
Polymer; Self-assembly; Solutions; Complex; Gels; Biomaterials; Light scattering; Neutron scattering; Nanoparticle; Hydrophobic effect; Phase separation;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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