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Self-Assembly and Ordering of Degradable Polymers

The self-assembly of polymers is an important area of study for the generation of nanomaterials that can be applied in a wide range of fields from drug and gene delivery to bionanocomposite materials. In the biomedical arena the incorporation of degradable polymers (ideally sources from natural materials) is highly attractive as the materials will be able to degrade to innocuous byproducts after their role has been completed. The group is particularly interested in controlling the morphology and stability of the self-assembled particles by taking advantage of the inherent stereochemistry of many of the monomers (and hence polymers) that we study. To this end, we are focussed on using crystallization to drive self-assembly towards the realization of cylindrical nanoparticles, a morphology that is hard to access in a pure form using conventional methods yet which has potentially great advatanges in drug delivery and nanocomposite materials. Furthermore, the use of ‘simple’ diblock copolymer systems to create stable nanoparticles through stabilization without the requirement for elegant yet complex cross-linking stabilization strategies.

Recent Highlights:
Precision Epitaxy for Aqueous 1D and 2D Poly(-caprolactone) Assemblies.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2017) 139, 16980 - 16985. link

1D vs. 2D shape selectivity in the crystallization-driven self-assembly of polylactide block copolymers.

Chem. Sci. (2017) 8, 4223-4230. link

Structural reorganization of cylindrical nanoparticles triggered by polylactide stereocomplexation.

Nature Commun. (2014) 5, 5746. 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 Sustainable Resources

Self-Assembly and Ordering of Degradable Polymers

Development of Novel Degradable Biomaterials