About this Research Topic
Charged polymeric systems are ubiquitous: from the nucleic acids of our cells to those employed on nanoparticles for facilitating advances in precision medicine. The fundamental understanding of the behavior and capabilities of such charged polymeric systems revolve around the ionic environment that the charges on the polymers trigger. A thorough exploration of this ionic environment is critical to understanding the behavior and functions of proteins, DNA and RNAs, membranes, and other polyelectrolyte (PE) systems (such as PE brushes, PE thin films, PE nanocomposites, PE colloids, PE complexes (coarcevates/micelles), PE hydrogels, ionomers), etc. The specific nature of the polymeric charge group as well as the overall polymer architecture dictate this ionic environment. Also, a thorough understanding of the electrostatics in charged polymeric systems can be harnessed for a large number of applications in biomedical engineering, energy technology, water security, drug discovery, targeted drug delivery, etc.
In this Research Topic, we aim to address the fundamentals of the ionic environment in charged polymeric systems, to shed light on the ion-mediated water structure among polyions, mechanism of the multivalent ions regulating the DNA loop-formation dynamics, scaling laws, relaxation dynamics and phase behavior in polyelectrolytes, hydrogels and coarcevates, etc. We also aim to explore the cutting-edge technologies in applications such as drug delivery, oil recovery, smart materials, nanofluidics, where the electrostatics of charged polymeric systems is leveraged. We aim to develop a generic interpretation of the micro structures and macroscopic properties of the charged polymeric systems, encompassing synthetic and biological polymeric systems.
In this Research Topic, we would like contributors to address the micro structures and their interrelationship with the macroscopic properties of charged polymeric systems and related applications, from theories to simulations and measurements. The specific themes involve but not limited to:
1. Polyelectrolyte Solutions and Brushes: theories, simulations, measurements, and applications
2. Electrostatics and dynamics of Nucleic Acids, such as DNAs and RNAs
3. Stimuli-responsive behavior of charged polymeric colloids, hydrogels, nanocomposites and thin
films: theories, simulations, measurements and applications
4. Charged Lipid Bilayer and Related Ionics
5. Charged Polyelectrolyte Complexes and Coacervates: Fundamentals and Applications
We are interested in both original research article as well as review article and perspective.
Keywords: Charged Polymeric Systems, Polymer Ionics, Electrostatics of Soft Matter, Polymer Electrostatics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.