Mechanically Controlled Enzymatic Polymerization and Remodeling

ACS Macro Lett. 2024 Apr 16;13(4):401-406. doi: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.4c00057. Epub 2024 Mar 21.


In nature, proteins possess the remarkable ability to sense and respond to mechanical forces, thereby triggering various biological events, such as bone remodeling and muscle regeneration. However, in synthetic systems, harnessing the mechanical force to induce material growth still remains a challenge. In this study, we aimed to utilize low-frequency ultrasound (US) to activate horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and catalyze free radical polymerization. Our findings demonstrate the efficacy of this mechano-enzymatic chemistry in rapidly remodeling the properties of materials through cross-linking polymerization and surface coating. The resulting samples exhibited a significant enhancement in tensile strength, elongation, and Young's modulus. Moreover, the hydrophobicity of the surface could be completely switched within just 30 min of US treatment. This work presents a novel approach for incorporating mechanical sensing and rapid remodeling capabilities into materials.

MeSH terms

  • Elastic Modulus
  • Mechanical Phenomena*
  • Polymerization
  • Tensile Strength
  • Ultrasonography