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Jacob Klein Research Group



Prof. Klein studies the behaviour of soft matter, including polymers, the crucial ingredient in many modern materials that have revolutionized daily living, making possible familiar objects ranging from computer disk drives and integrated circuits to artificial implants and electric cars. Polymers are composed of thousands of small molecules connected end-to-end to form flexible chains; his team has developed extremely delicate equipment that can measure the forces needed to stretch molecules and rub surfaces past each other. Insights gained from his research are informing the development and modification of new materials with a wide range of industrial applications, and more recently biomedical applications including treatments for osteoarthritis and novel drug delivery vehicles. Among his findings are the mechanism by which entangled polymers move, the forces between surfaces coated with polymers, and, more recently, identification of the means by which human joints are so well lubricated—which has relevance for improved treatments for arthritis and the development of better artificial joint implants.

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