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Award ID contains: 1830957

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  1. Abstract

    Chiral packing of ligands on the surface of nanoparticles (NPs) is of fundamental and practical importance, as it determines how NPs interact with each other and with the molecular world. Herein, for gold nanorods (NRs) capped with end‐grafted nonchiral polymer ligands, we show a new mechanism of chiral surface patterning. Under poor solvency conditions, a smooth polymer layer segregates into helicoidally organized surface‐pinned micelles (patches). The helicoidal morphology is dictated by the polymer grafting density and the ratio of the polymer ligand length to nanorod radius. Outside this specific parameter space, a range of polymer surface structures was observed, including random, shish‐kebab, and hybrid patches, as well as a smooth polymer layer. We characterize polymer surface morphology by theoretical and experimental state diagrams. The helicoidally organized polymer patches on the NR surface can be used as a template for the helicoidal organization of other NPs, masked synthesis on the NR surface, as well as the exploration of new NP self‐assembly modes.

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  2. The active loop extrusion hypothesis proposes that chromatin threads through the cohesin protein complex into progressively larger loops until reaching specific boundary elements. We build upon this hypothesis and develop an analytical theory for active loop extrusion which predicts that loop formation probability is a nonmonotonic function of loop length and describes chromatin contact probabilities. We validate our model with Monte Carlo and hybrid Molecular Dynamics–Monte Carlo simulations and demonstrate that our theory recapitulates experimental chromatin conformation capture data. Our results support active loop extrusion as a mechanism for chromatin organization and provide an analytical description of chromatin organization that may be used to specifically modify chromatin contact probabilities. 
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    The recent discovery and subsequent development of the CRISPR–Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat–CRISPR-associated protein 9) platform as a precise genome editing tool have transformed biomedicine. As these CRISPR-based tools have matured, multiple stages of the gene editing process and the bioengineering of human cells and tissues have advanced. Here, we highlight recent intersections in the development of biomaterials and genome editing technologies. These intersections include the delivery of macromolecules, where biomaterial platforms have been harnessed to enable nonviral delivery of genome engineering tools to cells and tissues in vivo. Further, engineering native-like biomaterial platforms for cell culture facilitates complex modeling of human development and disease when combined with genome engineering tools. Deeper integration of biomaterial platforms in these fields could play a significant role in enabling new breakthroughs in the application of gene editing for the treatment of human disease. 
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