A set of two complementary polymers, in this case large breakdancing polymers, are shown being deposited on a dissolvable wood floor template (please note that no floors were dissolved in the making of this video). The first polymer layer has a specific set of dance moves related to it, which are complementary to the second polymer layer's dance moves (or 'complimentary' for neutral polymers i.e. 'no charge'.) The polymer layers must be alternatively deposited in a layer-by-layer (LbL) process because polymers are not typically complementary to themselves (however, DNA is an example of a polymer complementary, though not complimentary, to itself!) Although the moves stay the same, the ground looks different due to the previously deposited large breakdancing polymers.
For large breakdancing polymers, four layers (or two bi-layers) form a sufficiently thick film. The wood floor templates can then be dissolved, or cut-up, by turning down the ambient light and throwing on some lasers (note that laser lights and strobe lights can pose issues with EHS if proper eye protection is not worn). Spherical backspinning templates or rod-like hand-spinning templates can produce different sized and shaped capsules when layered (breakdancer templates not to scale.)
Different sets of complementary polymers can be used to tune capsules' reactivity in people and cells, which large breakdancing polymers exhibit through distinct coordinated hand movements, in place running, and lots of smiles. Functional groups can be attached to the large breakdancing polymers by utilizing flare-windmill click chemistry. Stealth polymers like Polythylene Glycol (PEG) protrude from functionalized capsules as headstands and can prevent immune responses by blending in with the dark environment then pencil-dropping. Stealth polymers also allow capsules to avoid collisions with white blood cells by allowing capsules to roll over, or under, the oncoming cells during circulation (breakdancer capsule and breakdancer white blood cell not to scale.)
Cancer drugs can also be conjugated to the functional groups with swipes and released in the tumor when exposed to reducing or acidic conditions. Sometimes the release is facilitated by a front flip-cleavable linker (note that time only slows down when cancer drugs are released from large breakdancing polymers). Finally, Y-shaped antibody breakdancers can be functionalized to the capsules through feet shuffles. The antibodies ensure that capsules preferentially enter tumors with airflares and flares, lowering the chance of entering healthy cells (which are not willing to let antibody breakdancers into their dance parties).
LbL capsules are versatile because they can incorporate polymers with many different breakdance moves, styles, and sizes. Proper polymer choice provides the capsules with different physical and chemical properties that tumors cannot help but invite to their disco style dance parties. Once functionalized, capsules will display a synergistic set of polymers and molecules all dedicated to breakdance battling cancer*.
*For full discolosure, it must be mentioned that 'large breakdancing polymers' do not exhibit the best in vivo cancer killing properties and should only be used for demonstration purposes. In fact, complimentary complementary polymers show the best promise and are now being investigated by our lab.
Starring The University of Melbourne Breakdance Club: Dominic Teng, Salana Cua, JJ Richardson, DJ Chiam, Alan Pham, and Kurt Ballener
Music: Nowhere Florida (Remix) by Ning Yap, featuring JJ Richardson
Video produced and edited by JJ Richardson
Footage filmed and provided by Susanna Chan, Timothy Buckland and Kurt Ballener
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