Nature uses microvascular structures as a central element of complex materials that grow, regenerate, and improve themselves and their function. Work into synthesizing microvascular materials has recently taken a step forward in the form of a new synthetic process VaSC (Vaporization of a Sacrificial Component) that enables the formation of 3D microstructures that are meters in length. I report on our recent advances in using VaSC to create three-dimensional gas exchange units modeled on the design of avian lungs. I will focus on mass transfer applications for the capture of CO2. I will also report on recent research into creating high surface area micro-structures, the synthesis of cooperative binders of CO2 and chemical reactions mediated by photo-thermal effects. Finally, I will talk about adapting microvascular structure to allow them to improve their functions through chemical remodeling.
Link to Esser-Kahn group: link