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Polymer Brushes Infiltrated by Nanoparticles and Applications to the Nuclear Pore Complex

Opferman, Michael G. (2014) Polymer Brushes Infiltrated by Nanoparticles and Applications to the Nuclear Pore Complex. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Systems of grafted polymers in the presence of additives are useful in a variety of contexts including industrial applications, solar cells, organic electronics, drug delivery, and nucleocytoplasmic transport. In this thesis, we will consider the morphologies that polymer brushes attain when exposed to a solution of additives (which we generically term ``nanoparticles"), particularly when those nanparticles interact attractively with the polymers. We find that nanoparticles of this type can have a dramatic effect on the height of the polymer chains above the grafting surface, and they can induce highly non-uniform morphologies, including ones in which a dense layer of nanoparticles and monomers forms near the grafting surface. We consider especially the relevance of the system to several experiments performed on biopolymers in the nuclear pore complex when they interact attractively with transport factors that regulate nucleocytoplasmic transport. We find that, although these experiments appear to give inconsistent results, the inconsistencies can be reconciled through two simple models: the Alexander-de Gennes polymer brush, and the Milner-Witten-Cates polymer brush. Our findings should contribute to the understanding of the nuclear pore complex in that experiments can be better understood in the context of their relevant control parameters.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Opferman, Michael
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCoalson, Rob Dcoalson@pitt.eduCOALSON
Committee CoChairJasnow, Davidjasnow@pitt.eduJASNOW
Committee MemberDuncan, Tonytony@dectony.phyast.pitt.eduHAD
Committee MemberSalman, Hannahsalman@pitt.eduHSALMAN
Committee MemberAmemiya, Shigeruamemiya@pitt.eduAMEMIYA
Committee MemberZilman,
Date: 31 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 November 2013
Approval Date: 31 January 2014
Submission Date: 30 October 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 112
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Physics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Polymer Physics, Nuclear Pore Complex, Nucleocytoplasmic Transport, Collapse, Karyopherins, Nucleoporins
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2014 21:36
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:16

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  • Polymer Brushes Infiltrated by Nanoparticles and Applications to the Nuclear Pore Complex. (deposited 31 Jan 2014 21:36) [Currently Displayed]


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