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Three-Dimensional Matrices for Cellular and Multicellular Biointerfaces
Phone: (804) 923-3673
Biological macromolecules are highly efficient at recognizing specific analytes or catalyzing reactions in aqueous biological media; however, their natural liquid environment limits military practicality. Any delineation from the preferred buffered aqueous environment results in partial or total loss of reactivity. It would be advantageous to immobilize biological macromolecules in alternative environments that stabilize them and preserve their reactivities. The proposed effort introduces a revolutionary matrix called aerogel to immobilize cells resulting in a biologically active solid matrix. Sof-gel chemistry will be utilized to immobilize the cells in the silica matrix. The silica matrix has an extremely large internal surface area, low density, high porosity, and adjustable pore size, which together render a highly efficient, lightweight matrix for cell immobilization. Also, the silica matrix provides a protective environment for cells, thus increasing shelf life and reactivity.
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