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We select building blocks according to desirable systems features (molecular programmability, structure formation, type of switches) and for reaching a materials functionality rather than promoting a single class of self-assembling building blocks. 

Tailor-made polymers and soft colloids (microgels) with tunable supramolecular interactions and photoswitches are certainly at the core of our expertise, but peptides and in particular DNA motifs are emerging tools to reach desirable levels of programmability and functions. 

Our work on isolating nanocellulose and nanochitin bionanoparticles complements classical macromolecular and materials chemistry synthesis methods.

Building Block Design

5 Selected References on Recent Building Block Design:

1. Ludwanowski, S., Hoenders, D., Kalayci, K., Frisch, H., Barner-Kowollik, C., Walther, A. “ Modular Functionalization and Hydrogel Formation via Red-Shifted and Self-Reporting [2+ 2] Cycloadditions“ Chem. Commun. 57, 805 (2021).

2. Lossada, F., Jiao. D., Yao, X., Walther, A. “Waterborne Methacrylate-Based Vitrimers” ACS Macro Lett. 9, 70 (2020).

3. Creusen, G.; Roshanasan, A.; Lopez, J. G.; Peneva, K.; Walther, A. “Bottom-up Design of Model Network Elastomers and Hydrogels from Precise Star Polymers” Polym. Chem. 10, 3740 (2019) (Part of the Pioneering Investigators Issue, Paper of the month).

4. Merindol, R.; Delechiave, G.; Heinen, L.; Catalani, L. H.; Walther, A. “Modular Design of Programmable Mechanofluorescent DNA Hydrogels” Nature Commun. 10, 529 (2019).

5. Hoenders, D.; Guo, J.; Goldmann, A. S.; Barner-Kowollik, C.; Walther, A. „Photochemical Ligation Meets Nanocellulose: A Versatile Platform for Self-Reporting Functional Materials“ Mater. Horizons 5, 560 (2018).

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