Events Calendar
Oct 24
13:00 - 14:00
Frederik Wurm, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research.
Physical Sciences colloquia

Nature on planet earth has created diverse complex biopolymers: proteins, lignin, nucleic acids, etc: they structure, catalyze or determine life. Chemists have been using biopolymers for various applications ranging from packaging to enzymatic synthesis or drug delivery. We transform molecular and structural motifs from biopolymers into synthetic analogs. DNA is our major blueprint to develop new phosphorus-containing polymers, which are rarely found in today's polymer science, despite their tremendous synthetic and potential in various applications. Recent work has illustrated the potential of PPEs for future applications beyond flame-retardancy, the main application of PPEs today, and provided a coherent vision to implement this classic biopolymer in modern applications that demand biocompatibility and degradability as well as the possibility to adjust the properties to individual needs. We have developed a robust strategy to well-defined PPEs by olefin metathesis and the anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP). The "living" AROP of 2-alkyl-2-oxo-1,3,2-dioxaphospholanes provides also functional polymers with excellent control over molar mass and dispersity. Copolymers of different monomers allow adjustment of the hydrophilicity or their crystallization gives rise to anisotropic materials. Thermoresponsive and degradable polyphosphonates with both lower and upper critical solution temperature are available from the copolymerization of 2-alkyl-2-oxo-1,3,2-dioxaphospholanes. The polyphosphoester (PPE) platform is also interesting for tuning the blood interactions and the so-called "stealth" behavior of polymeric nanocarriers. We recently reported that degradable PPEs could substitute the famous PEG in drug carriers as they recruit essential proteins from the blood plasma to prevent unspecific cellular uptake. Nanocarriers, functionalized with PPE copolymers underline that the choice of the recruited protein is essential to the stealth behavior that will allow us to understand and use the interactions of polymeric nanocarriers and blood for a targeted delivery of actives.The presentation summarizes synthetic protocols to PPEs, their applications in biomedicine, e.g., as biodegradable drug carrier or in tissue engineering, and their flame retardant properties.


Ingram Lecture Theatre
United Kingdom
Canterbury map


Open to all,

Contact: Helena Shepherd
School of Physical Sciences


Corporate Communications - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 1227 764000

Last Updated: 10/01/2012