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Synthesis of functional degradable polymers from renewable resources

The lack of existing materials and of commercially available monomers that enable the synthesis of functional degradable polymer backbones for advanced technological applications drives our interest in this area. Our primary foci are centred on both the development of novel degradable polymer materials from renewable/sustainable resources such as malic acid, carbon dioxide, sugars and amino acids and also the application of highly efficient and orthogonal (‘click’) chemistries for the post-polymerization modification of degradable polymers. The derivation of these new materials from renewable sources is an important target from both a sustainability and biomaterials viewpoint. As part of this strategy, the incorporation of ‘click’-functional handles and the evaluation of post-polymerization functionalization strategies (without polymer degradation) means that a wider range of functional materials can be realized from relatively few sources. In turn, the functional groups will affect both the physical and degradation properties of the materials, control over and understanding of these parameters are important for the in vivo application of the materials.

Recent Highlights:
Poly(oligo (ethylene glycol) vinyl acetate)s: A versatile new class of thermoresponsive and biocompatible polymers.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2017) 56, 9178 - 9182. link

Application of Modified Amino Acid-Derived Diols as Chain Extenders in the Synthesis of Novel Thermoplastic Polyester Urethane Elastomers.

ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2017) 5, 6902 - 6909. link

Synthesis and post-polymerization modification of one-pot ω-pentadecalactone block-like copolymers. Biomacromolecules (2015) 16, 3191–3200. link

Organocatalytic, Regioselective Nucleophilic “Click” Addition of Thiols to Propiolic Acid Esters for Polymer–Polymer Coupling

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2013) 52, 4132 - 4136. link

We have published review articles in several areas related to our research, a summary of these articles can be found here.

Polymerisation Catalysis

Synthesis of Functional Degradable Polymers from Renewable Resources

Self-Assembly and Ordering of Degradable Polymers

Development of Novel Degradable Biomaterials