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Molecular Dynamics of Biomimetic Ionomers Studied by Dielectric Spectroscopy on the Nanometer Length Scale

K. Welch, F. Nederberg, T. Bowden and M. Strømme
Uppsala University, SE

Keywords:
biomimetic, ionomer, characterization, dielectric spectroscopy, second harmonic generation

Abstract:
New biomimetic materials are being developed which show great promise for biotechnological applications. An understanding of the dynamic molecular processes in these materials at the nanoscale level is of particular interest and we show that dielectric spectroscopy and non-linear laser optics are especially useful methods in providing such information. Dielectric spectroscopy is used to study the bulk properties of a biomimetic ionomer. The data clearly shows the presence of the polar end groups and the diffusion constant of these moieties can be calculated. This information indicates the ability of the material to function as vehicle for controlled drug release in which drug molecules are incorporated within the polar aggregates in the material bulk. Additionally, a non-linear optical technique utilizing second harmonic generation from a femtosecond laser pulse is used for the first time to study the molecular dynamics at the surface of the ionomer. The surface dynamics of the ionomer are observed as water is introduced onto the ionomer surface. The results show the ability of the functionalized material to react to the aqueous environment by rearranging the hydrophilic end groups at the surface. This suggests enhanced hemocompatibility, which has been previously confirmed in an in vitro study.

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