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The main challenge or requirement for any progress in advanced technologies, whether related to environment, energy, biomedicine or informatics, requires going to smaller and smaller dimensions. Dimensions of nanometers. These can be approached by several different techniques. One of them is macromolecular engineering. This means designing and preparing macromolecules in very precisely controlled shapes. In the form of rings, or sometimes combs, sometimes also specific nanobrushes or conjugate them with biomolecules such as proteins or nucleic acids. Once we make these very precise macromolecules, they can start behaving in a different way. They can be supersoft or superhard, sometimes as soft as our tissue, sometimes even softer. They can also self-organise, self-heal, they can potentially have a shape memory. And some of these materials, in fact, can be very specific. They can target only tumor cells, without touching healthy cells. So, all of these can really help our civilisation, to make materials which would be useful for our energy and environment, and potentially also biomedicine.

SOLVING BIG PROBLEMS ON A SMALLER SCALE
KRZYSZTOF MATYJASZEWSKIPROFILE
Carnegie Mellon University

By going to smaller and smaller dimensions, we can solve big problems. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski makes rings, combs and brushes at nanoscale. With their unique properties, they can help society in various ways.

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