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Rheological Aspects of Conformational Change and Molecular Aggregation of Macromolecules

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Nano/Micro Science and Technology in Biorheology
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Abstract

When the temperature of a dilute polymer solution is changed gradually far below the Θ point, the conformation of individual polymer chains changes from a random coil to a compact globular state (coil-globule transition), followed by intermolecular aggregation owing to phase separation. In this chapter, the coil-globule transition and the aggregation behavior in dilute solutions of typical neutral synthetic homopolymers, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), are reviewed, and some rheological aspects of the kinetics of chain collapse and chain aggregation are demonstrated. The applicability of the rheological concepts derived from the aggregation behavior of synthetic homopolymers to that of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is considered.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    An aqueous solution of water-soluble polymers shows an LCST-type behavior in many cases. However, a group of water-soluble polymers showing a UCST-type behavior has attracted much attention in recent years [30].

  2. 2.

    Note that phase diagrams of some polymer-solvent systems show both UCST- and LCST-type behaviors [31].

  3. 3.

    Although this chapter focuses mostly on homopolymers, introducing comonomers and the resultant copolymers or heteropolymers is also of great importance from the viewpoint of applications [10, 13].

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Maki, Y. (2015). Rheological Aspects of Conformational Change and Molecular Aggregation of Macromolecules. In: Kita, R., Dobashi, T. (eds) Nano/Micro Science and Technology in Biorheology. Springer, Tokyo. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-4-431-54886-7_2

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