Polyelectrolyte Complexes

Bridging the Ensemble Average: Single-Molecule Strategies
  • Rita S. Dias
  • Bjørn Torger StokkeEmail author
Part of the Engineering Materials book series (ENG.MAT.)


Polyelectrolyte complexation is mechanistic in formation of various biological structures as well as in technological applications. Such structure formation can be viewed as key in regulating biological functionality and designing functional soft materials. The formation of polyelectrolyte complexes depends on the interrelation between the counter ion exchange, entropic contribution, polymer properties, solution conditions, and process approach. Thus, a comprehensive description of the polyelectrolyte complex formation, their properties, and structures deem it necessary to apply various tools. The chapter provides a brief overview of representative polyelectrolyte complex examples from biology and man-made ones. In particular, we aim at combining information obtainable at the ensemble and single molecule level with numerical simulations to provide a more comprehensive description of the structure formation and resulting morphologies. A particular feature is the possible existence of kinetically trapped structures due to the flexible and long chain nature of the components. Possible impact of this particularity to this growing field is discussed.


Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Persistence Length Polyelectrolyte Complex Polyelectrolyte Chain Complex Coacervation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biophysics and Medical Technology, Department of PhysicsThe Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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