• Series of propylene (C3) and hexylene (C6)-linked tripod-shaped polyhedral octasilsesquioxane (POSS) derivatives were prepared corner-opening type POSS (COPOSS) with completely condensed POSSs (CC-POSSs). The annealed cast films of the tripodal POSSs were optically transparent, except those consisted of the phenylsubstituted CC-POSS, which were rather turbid. The tripodal POSSs showed endothermic peaks corresponding to melting (Tm) and suggest that including the phenyl-substituted CO-POSS unit reduced Tms compared with the isobutyl-substituted CO-POSS.

    • Mayu Nagao
    • Hiroaki Imoto
    • Kensuke Naka
    Original Article
  • The effects of the addition of a hyperbranched polymer (HBP) on the degradability characteristics of linear polyglycolide (PGA) fiber mats. It was revealed that HBP acted as a plasticizer, especially in underwater environments. The weight loss of the PGA fiber mats was accelerated with increasing HBP content. Considering that the structural changes in the PGA crystals depended on the feed amount of HBP, it was claimed that HBP promoted PGA degradation in both the amorphous and crystalline phases.

    • Reiki Eto
    • Haruki Mokudai
    • Keiji Tanaka
    Rapid Communication
  • Lentinan (Len) is a linear (1,3)-β-d-glucan with two of its five main-chain glucose-bearing (1,6)-β-d-glucan side chains and has been clinically used for cancer treatment in combination with chemotherapy. In this paper, a structural analysis of Len was conducted using SAXS, GPC, and 13C quantitative NMR techniques, and a comparative study with other β-glucans was performed. The complexation between dA40 and Len caused the hypochromic effect. Len and dA40 showed a similar complexation with that of SPG; two main chain glucoses bind to one dA moiety by GPC.

    • Takuya Matsunaga
    • Kazuki Sumiya
    • Kazuo Sakurai
    Original Article
  • The higher-order structures of polymer-brush-modified nanoparticles (PSiPs) in ionic liquids were analyzed using ultrasmall-angle X-ray scattering. The self-assembly of the PSiPs was entropy-driven. The transition threshold concentration of the PSiPs was understood through the Kirkwood–Alder transition by considering the effective particle sizes. The random hexagonal close-packed structure in the concentrated-polymer-brush regime exhibited the characteristics of hard spheres, whereas face-centered cubic and body-centered cubic structures in the semidilute-polymer-brush regime reflected softening of the interparticle potential.

    • Yohei Nakanishi
    • Ryohei Ishige
    • Yoshinobu Tsujii
    Original Article
  • Narrow size distributions of spherical polyacrylic acid (PAA) particles are produced through precipitation polymerization without the need for stabilizers or emulsifiers. In this study, we employed small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to investigate the polydispersity index (PDI) associated with the molecular weight distribution of the particles. By fitting the SAXS profiles, we were able to determine particle sizes, standard deviation, and the PDI with high precision. Our findings from SAXS confirmed that the PAA particles are monodisperse, both statistically and quantitatively, with a PDI of less than 1.05.

    • Shin Takano
    • Ryohei Ono
    • Kazuo Sakurai
  • Peptides are versatile molecular tools with molecular recognition capabilities, high designability, and the capacity for self-assembly. In this focus review, the construction of new bio-nanoarchitectures using our peptide-based technologies is described. First, the construction of functional microtubules was achieved by molecular encapsulation using a Tau-derived peptide. Second, light-induced peptide nanofiber growth was used for the development of artificial motile systems of micrometer-sized spheres. The development of bio-nanoarchitectures by these peptide-based approaches is useful for understanding, mimicking, and controlling natural nano/microstructures.

    • Hiroshi Inaba
    Focus Review
  • In the first part of the review, continuous and length-controllable discrete one-dimensional channels, two-dimensional sheets, and three-dimensional vesicles, bulk-state complexation based on the versatile functionalization of pillar[n]arenes are discussed. In the second part of the review, functionalized pillar[n]arene crystals showing guest-responsive changes in color, state, and water contact angle, as well as serving as reaction media for the spontaneous polymerization of cyclic monomers are discussed.

    • Tomoki Ogoshi
    Focus Review
  • The density-dependent changes of avidities between Siglec-8 and the glycan ligand of the α(2 → 6)-sialyl-6-sulfo-N-acetyllactosamine derivative (1) were investigated for the first time. The SAM surfaces with different glycan densities were constructed by changing the ratio of 1 and 3,3′-dithiodipropionic acid (DTPA) on the gold electrode of the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). Next, we measured the apparent KD values of 1 with Siglec-8 on the SAM surfaces by the QCM to investigate the effect of the glycan density on the avidity of the Siglec-8 interaction. The results obtained in this study suggest that Siglec-8 has an optimal glycan density (~9.2 × 102 molecules μm−2) for preferred interactions.

    • Risa Naka
    • Simon Sau Yin Law
    • Masashi Ohmae
    Original ArticleOpen Access
  • Double-hydrophilic block copolymers composed of a water-soluble poly(carboxybetaine acrylate) and a water-insoluble poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate) (PCBA2n-b-PMEAm) produced particles in dilute aqueous solutions and microphase-separated structures in concentrated aqueous solutions. The microphase-separated structures were associated with the volume fraction and molecular weight-dependent water solubility of the PMEA chain. The morphology of the microphase-separated structure was independent of the polymer concentration, probably because the block copolymer aggregates were isolated as coacervates. The morphology was tolerant to NaCl concentration due to the nonelectrostatic aggregation of PMEA.

    • Yuji Higaki
    • Honoka Toyama
    • Masaru Tanaka
    Original Article