The O'Reilly group is interested in the design and synthesis of novel polymeric nanostructures whose shape, size and function can be tailored towards a specific application. We use a wide range of polymer synthesis methods (ring opening polymerisation and controlled radical polymerisation) to access amphilphilic di and triblock copolymers which can undergo self assembly in a selective solvent. A key aspect of this work is the development of robust functionalisation methods for these constructs. We often use (and have an interest in developing new) Click chemistries approaches to allow for orthogonal and selective functionalisation of a specific domain of the construct. Furthermore, we have an interest in embeding functionality (such as catalytically active groups, targeting ligands, drugs etc) within the polymeric scaffold and then triggering its activation or release. We acheive this through the utilisation of timuli responsive polymers which provide a mechanism for reorganisation and release upon application of a trigger.
Key elements of this research are in the areas of
- nanostructure characterisation
- catalytic nanoreactors
- responsive nanoreactors