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November 2nd, 2015

SLIPS Technologies named among 10 Startups to Watch (C&EN)

Harvard spin-off develops "slippery surfaces to overcome sticky problems"

By Michael McCoy, Chemical & Engineering News

November 2, 2015 – Wouldn’t it be great to get all that paint out of the can? The scientists behind SLIPS Technologies think so too. They are developing slippery chemistry that can do that—but also much more.

SLIPS, which is just a year old, emerged from the labs of Joanna Aizenberg, a chemistry professor at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute. Aizenberg uses biological principles to design new materials. And one principle of particular interest to her team is how nature puts liquids on structured surfaces so they stay slippery and clean.

It was in a 2011 Nature paper that Aizenberg first disclosed how her team coated a Teflon membrane with a fluorinated liquid to create SLIPS—slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (DOI: 10.1038/nature10447). Since then, the team has demonstrated the technique with all sorts of surfaces and liquids, generally by chemically functionalizing the surface to fix the liquid in place. That versatility means the company can tackle everything from icy roofs to gunked-up ship hulls.

For example, Aizenberg says, an aluminum surface can be roughened and then functionalized with a long-chain alkyl phosphate so that mineral oil sits smoothly on top and blocks ice formation. Or medical tubing can be treated with perfluorodecalin, a blood substitute, to prevent blood clotting.

Read the entire article in Chemical & Engineering News

Tags: joanna aizenberg, materials, Startups

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