ar-2014-00131v_0011Shalini and Caroline recently collaborated to write an Accounts of Chemical Research article on “Microgel Mechanics in Biomaterial Design“.  The work is a review of some of our efforts in at the microgel/bio interface, with the highlights being depicted in the artwork to the right (drawn by Prof. Lyon in ArtStudio on an iPad).  In the leftmost depiction, we see that polyelectrolyte/microgel assemblies, when formed into a thin film, can mediate cell attachment and spreading in a manner that appears to relate to the viscoelasticity of the film, as opposed to being related to just the elasticity. We have also demonstrated that ultrasoft microgels can deform to a large degree when faced with transport through small pores (center image). This may be relevant for renal clearance of injectable drug delivery vehicles. Finally, on the right we see a cartoon representation of a core/shell microgel with a shell that can gate or tune the release of the interior microgel contents.  Please feel free to share any thoughts on the article, which is just a small preamble to all the nano/micro/bio stuff churning in the group right now – stay tuned for some very cool stuff that should be coming out in the near future!