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Programming materials to reconfigure themselves into new structures might sound like science fiction, but researchers are working on exactly that goal. Now a team led by Jasna Brujic from New York University has taken a step toward realizing such a material from micrometer-sized drops linked together with DNA. They demonstrate large-scale self-assembly of the drops into long polymer-like chains that they then repeatedly destroy and rebuild by changing the temperature. While the team has, so far, only created 2D chains from these so-called colloidomers, they say that the system could potentially lead to 3D materials that can be continuously reconfigured.

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