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Polymers 2010, 2(2), 57-70; doi:10.3390/polym2020057

Biological and Biomimetic Comb Polyelectrolytes

1,*  and 2
1 Biological Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK 2 Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, National Hellenic Research Foundation, 48 Vassileos Constantinou Avenue, 11635 Athens, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 May 2010 / Revised: 19 May 2010 / Accepted: 23 May 2010 / Published: 26 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyelectrolytes)
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Some new phenomena involved in the physical properties of comb polyelectrolyte solutions are reviewed. Special emphasis is given to synthetic biomimetic materials, and the structures formed by these molecules are compared with those of naturally occurring glycoprotein and proteoglycan solutions. Developments in the determination of the structure and dynamics (viscoelasticity) of comb polymers in solution are also covered. Specifically the appearance of multi-globular structures, helical instabilities, liquid crystalline phases, and the self-assembly of the materials to produce hierarchical comb morphologies is examined. Comb polyelectrolytes are surface active and a short review is made of some recent experiments in this area that relate to their morphology when suspended in solution. We hope to emphasize the wide variety of phenomena demonstrated by the vast range of naturally occurring comb polyelectrolytes and the challenges presented to synthetic chemists designing biomimetic materials.
Keywords: comb; polyelectrolyte; polyampholyte; glycoprotein; proteoglycan; peptide; mucin; aggrecan; self-assembly; liquid crystal; brush comb; polyelectrolyte; polyampholyte; glycoprotein; proteoglycan; peptide; mucin; aggrecan; self-assembly; liquid crystal; brush
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Waigh, T.A.; Papagiannopoulos, A. Biological and Biomimetic Comb Polyelectrolytes. Polymers 2010, 2, 57-70.

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