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Liquid Crystalline Materials For Biological Applications.

Aaron M. Lowe, N. Abbott
Published 2012 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Liquid crystals have a long history of use as materials that respond to external stimuli (e.g., electrical and optical fields). More recently, a series of investigations have reported the design of liquid crystalline materials that undergo ordering transitions in response to a range of biological interactions, including interactions involving proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, bacteria and mammalian cells. A central challenge underlying the design of liquid crystalline materials for such applications is the tailoring of the interface of the materials so as to couple targeted biological interactions to ordering transitions. This review describes recent progress toward design of interfaces of liquid crystalline materials that are suitable for biological applications. Approaches addressed in this review include the use of lipid assemblies, polymeric membranes containing oligopeptides, cationic surfactant-DNA complexes, peptide-amphiphiles, interfacial protein assemblies and multi-layer polymeric films.
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