Discovery of water-based photothermal mechanism of release covered in science media

Chemical & Engineering News and Materials Today have published articles explaining the impact of a novel means of inducing release of molecules from polymeric particles. A team led by postdoc Mathieu Viger and overseen by CNME director Adah Almutairi have shown that irradiating particles made from common polymers (without chemical groups that rearrange in response to light) with wavelengths of near infrared preferentially absorbed by water induces diffusion of particle-entrapped small molecules into the surrounding solution. This discovery could lead to widespread use of infrared to precisely control signaling processes in biology labs since the materials required are already widely available.