large exclusion zones of water near some polymer surfaces – could it explain polymer drag reduction?

Today I heard a talk by Prof. Gerald Pollack. Sounds great.

He has a book:
Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life
and here’s a short abstract of the findings:
A second and emerging research thrust is the interaction between cell’s
water and its meshwork of polymeric surfaces. The cell is filled with
polymers: proteins, nucleic acids, etc. Polymer surfaces profoundly
impact nearby water molecules, which in turn impact cell function in an
important way (this is described in detail in Cells, Gels and the
Engines of Life; Pollack; Ebner and Sons, 2001). We are exploring the
nature of interfacial water, both in living cells and in gels.
Interfacial water excludes solutes. We find that the exclusion zone for
large solutes can extend over remarkably long distances from polymeric
surfaces – sometimes up to hundreds of micrometers (Zheng and Pollack,
2003; Zheng et al., 2006). We are pursuing various biophysical and
bioengineering approaches to learn more about the nature of this
fascinating surface-water interaction, and its impact on cell function
and beyond.

plus there are some applications coming out and you’re welcome to hear his annual lecture: Water, Energy, and Life: Fresh Views From the Water’s Edge


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