From stronger Kevlar to better biology

| July 14, 2014
Assistant professor Marilyn Minus has received a grant to expand her nanomaterial templating process to design better synthetic collagen fibers and better flame-retardant coatings. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

Assistant professor Marilyn Minus has received a grant to expand her nanomaterial templating process to design better synthetic collagen fibers and better flame-retardant coatings. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

News@Northeastern reports on the research of Dr. Marilyn Minus, Northeastern Associate Professor and member of the CHN faculty team, conducted with funding from her recent NSF CAREER award. This research has developed a new directed assembly method, which she hopes to expand to use with flame retardant materials and biological molecules:

In the case of collagen – the first bio­log­ical mol­e­cule to which Minus has applied her method – Minus hopes the approach will allow the nan­otubes to lend their rigidity to the system. Inside the body, col­lagen mol­e­cules orga­nize them­selves into a com­plex matrix that sup­ports the struc­ture of every one of our cells. But out­side the body, researchers have had major chal­lenges trying to reli­ably recreate this matrix.

If sci­en­tists could make col­lagen work out­side the body the same way it does inside, it could pro­vide an invalu­able plat­form for testing drugs, under­standing how tis­sues work, and even shed­ding light on the ori­gins of a variety of dis­eases, Minus said.

Read the full story here at News@Northeastern.