Strategies Towards Soft Functional Supramolecular Materials

Matija Lovrak

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

171 Downloads (Pure)


Nature is full of life, which is driven by the numerous biochemical processes that occur in living organisms. Many motifs are universal regardless of species, such as enzymatic networks, self-assembly and reaction-diffusion. This work examines the development of novel soft functional materials via self-assembly and reaction-diffusion approaches. The combination of these two principles from nature offers new possibilities for the development and structuring of soft matter. In our research, we investigated the application of the reaction-diffusion self-assembly approach to make patterned hydrogels and hydrogel objects. The dimensions of the patterns and objects that have been made range from centimeter scale to microscale. Also, we demonstrated various possibilities of chemical functionalization of patterns and objects. In another implementation, we showed that self-assembly combined with reaction-diffusion at the interface of two gels can be used to glue pieces of gel by forming a self-assembled fibrous network across the interface. This approach worked for different biological and polymeric gels and was supported with a numerical model. Finally, we developed a novel strategy to make an in vitro model of artificial plaque. An artificial plaque was made by loading gelatin/alginate polymeric film with liposomes. The prepared films showed similar liposomal distribution as porcine plaque. Also, the plaque was implantable as demonstrated in ex-vivo and in-vivo experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Esch, J.H., Supervisor
  • Eelkema, R., Advisor
Award date26 Jan 2018
Print ISBNs978-94-6186-883-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Supramolecular Hydrogel
  • Reaction-Diffusion
  • Polymeric Hydrogels


Dive into the research topics of 'Strategies Towards Soft Functional Supramolecular Materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this