Chemists lead by an OSU professor of chemistry have come up with a coating that could help materials like medications stay more stable and this coating is much thinner than the width of human hair.
The coating secures strongly whatever is inside perhaps allowing many medications to hold together longer without the use of additives. Researchers compared it to a stack of quarters versus a plastic wrapped role of quarters from the bank. Both will eventually fall apart, but one remains stable much longer.
Researchers took their cue from nature but created the material in a lab. It is called polydopamine. They used this to cover peptide nano fibers (very small chains of amino acids). These are the building blocks of proteins. These peptide nanofibers are common building blocks for lots of common items, like medications.
Each peptide molecule is like one coin in the stack. The entire stack is a peptide nanofiber. The polydopamine coating makes sure the stack is protected against environments that would break the stack or nanofiber apart.
The chemists focused on very small materials, those on the “nanoscale”. One one-millionth of a millimeter equals one nanometer. This is about 75,000 times smaller than a width of a human hair.
This research was published in the European journal, Chemistry.