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In his lab in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Dr.  Matt Webber is just one member of a team of engineers, chemists, and biologist who are working on supramolecular chemistry, which involves non-covalent interactions between ensembles of molecules to produce strong, interesting, and useful structures that behave in defined and predictable ways, lending themselves to a variety of potential applications in medicine and the development of therapeutic drugs.

Dr. Webber explains the fundamental interest that drives his team, which is to use non-covalent interactions to build synthetic systems that resemble nature, such as the perfect symmetry of viruses and their perfectly defined components, or the ability of immune systems to recognize and respond to threats in their environment. He also explains how the use of non-covalent bonds and host recognition has allowed for the development of shear-thinning and self-healing hydrogels for use as injectable therapeutics, and discusses his recent work on creating a glucose-activatable glucagon, which he says has the potential to act as an “insurance policy” for people with diabetes to protect against dangerous dips in blood glucose levels.

Tune in to learn more about this exciting area of research, and visit http://www.webberlab.com/ to learn more about the work being done in Dr. Webber’s lab.

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