French researchers produce the first sequence-encodable synthetic polymers
A ground-breaking polymer structure that allows to encode, decode and erase digital information was synthesised by French researchers and reported in Nature Communications.
- An example of binary-coded polymer
- Nature Communications, 6, Article number: 7237
The team of Prof Jean-François Lutz from the Institute Charles Sadron (CNRS) in Strasbourg, in collaboration with Prof Laurence Charles from the Institute of Radical Chemistry (CNRS/University Aix-Marseille), devised a new synthetic methodology enabling to add in a controlled way a specific and well-defined sequence of monomers.
Using three monomers, acting as a spacer, a 0-bit and a 1-bit, the researchers were able to implement a binary code into a polymer chain, which could be then decoded using tandem mass spectrometry and erased through heating.
Albeit in its infancy, this technique has potential to store messages of a few kilobytes to megabytes and could be used to develop molecular bar codes.
Written by Dr Mariana Beija