Many therapeutics for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease target membrane proteins. Structural characterisation of the proteins is required to produce better drugs, but growing high quality crystals for X-ray diffraction analysis can be a challenge. In this hot paper (front cover of Soft Matter Issue 26), Conn and co-workers report on the structural characterisation of four different lipids. The lipids were successfully used in the growth of membrane protein crystals, the structures of which were studied using SAXS and WAXS.
Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 6884-6896
In this hot paper (front cover of Soft Matter Issue 31), Gong and co-workers describe a strategy for introducing long-range ordered structure in amorphous hydrogels using dynamic mechano-complexation coupling in a non-equilibrium process. They report the swelling of a hydrogel consisting of poly(2,20-disulfonyl-4,40-benzidine terephthalamide) (PBDT). The mechanism of non-equilibrium structure formation is discussed and may provide insights into the formation of biomacromolecules, such as the growth of biological organs.
Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 8060-8066