Archive for June, 2011

Top Ten most-read Polymer Chemistry articles in May

Read the most-read Journal of Materials Chemistry articles of May 2011, listed below:

Polymeric vesicles in biomedical applications
René P. Brinkhuis, Floris P. J. T. Rutjes and Jan C. M. van Hest
Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1449-1462

Multiresponsive polymers: nano-sized assemblies, stimuli-sensitive gels and smart surfaces
George Pasparakis and Maria Vamvakaki
Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1234-1248

Thiol-ene “click” reactions and recent applications in polymer and materials synthesis
Andrew B. Lowe
Polym. Chem., 2010, 1, 17-36

Synthesis of thermoresponsive oxazolone end-functional polymers for reactions with amines using thiol-Michael addition “click” chemistry
The Hien Ho, Martin Levere, Jean-Claude Soutif, Véronique Montembault, Sagrario Pascual and Laurent Fontaine
Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1258-1260

FDA-approved poly(ethylene glycol)–protein conjugate drugs
Steevens N. S. Alconcel, Arnold S. Baas and Heather D. Maynard
Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1442-1448

Diels–Alder “click” reactions: recent applications in polymer and material science
Mehmet Atilla Tasdelen
Polym. Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00041A, Advance Article

Chain-end- and in-chain-functionalized AB diblock copolymers as key building blocks in the synthesis of well-defined architectural polymers
Akira Hirao, Kota Murano, Toshiyuki Oie, Masahiro Uematsu, Raita Goseki and Yuri Matsuo
Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1219-1233

Topological polymer chemistry: a cyclic approach toward novel polymer properties and functions
Takuya Yamamoto and Yasuyuki Tezuka
Polym. Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00088H, Advance Article

Boron-containing polymers as versatile building blocks for functional nanostructured materials
Fei Cheng and Frieder Jäkle
Polym. Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00123J, Advance Article

Functionalization of inorganic nanoparticles with polymers for stealth biomedical applications
Koon Gee Neoh and En Tang Kang
Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 747-759

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the journal’s e-alerts or RSS feeds or follow Polymer Chemistry on Twitter or Facebook.

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Polymer Chemistry Author of the Week – Cameron Alexander

Cameron Alexander received degrees (BSc and PhD) in Chemistry from the University of Durham, UK, and carried out post-doctoral research at the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, University of Cambridge. He took up an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship before moving to the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham in June 2005. Professor Alexander was promoted to a personal Chair in Polymer Therapeutics at Nottingham in 2009, where he is also Head of the Division of Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering, and Operations Director of the EPSRC/AstraZeneca/University of Nottingham Doctoral Training Centre in Targeted Therapeutics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Materials Chemistry, and has published more than 100 refereed articles. Research in his group centres on the synthesis of responsive/‘smart’ materials for biomedical applications. Professor Alexander is currently an EPSRC Leadership Fellow (2009-2014) in the area of personalised medicines.

Please follow the link for further information on Cameron’s research group and his recent paper in Polymer Chemistry.

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

I have always been fascinated by science, but have also always felt that practical value and application are important, hence the study of chemistry and my subsequent move into polymers and pharmaceutical materials. As is no doubt the case with many career scientists I was lucky to have great chemistry teachers and mentors throughout my career, from school, through an industry gap year with Ciba-Geigy, then at university in Durham and on to my current position at Nottingham. In chemistry and related disciplines, you have a chance to be creative, work with a whole range of amazing people and ideally, do something that is of value to others. We try to inspire in turn, and again I have been lucky to be part of Brady Haran’s fantastic Test-Tube project at Nottingham (see http://www.test-tube.org.uk/). The Periodic Table videos he has done with Martyn Poliakoff, Pete Licence and others are an inspiration in themselves.

What was the motivation behind the research in your recent Polymer Chemistry paper? (DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00128K)

In a School of Pharmacy we combine fundamental and applied science interests, and modifying the properties of natural materials with polymers fits into both categories. In addition to their intended roles in biology, many biopolymers, and especially proteins, might act as powerful drugs but they are often too easily degraded to be used in a standard injectable formulation. Decorating proteins with polymers can enhance their stability as well as increase their circulation time in the body, but also can reduce their intended activity too. By attaching polymers that can collapse or expand dependent on a stimulus, we intend to keep the enhanced stability of the polymer-protein conjugate, but switch the enzyme back to a highly active state when needed by collapsing the attached polymer. Here we developed methods to modify trypsin, a well-known protease, but in ways that allowed the chemistries to be done entirely in aqueous media, and with polymer architectures that allowed us to play with the way the polymer-trypsin conjugate assembled in solution. In turn, this allowed us to direct the activity of the enzyme – though of course not to the extent that we intended!

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work?

In part it was because it was a Themed Issue but also because the journal is becoming the go-to site for the polymer science that most overlaps with what we are doing. The Editorial Board are all strongly involved in the more multidisciplinary aspects of polymer science, so it makes sense for us to send our papers to Polym. Chem. as, if we get past the reviewers, the science will be very visible.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

I will be at the Materials Chemistry 10 Conference (Manchester, July 2010), the UK PharmSci meeting (Nottingham, September 2011) and the International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials (Hattiesburg, Mississippi) in October 2011 talking about responsive polymers.

How do you spend your spare time?

Pre-children days my spare time involved mountain walks, trying to play drums and a bit of volunteering for Amnesty International but now the realities of combining science with young(ish) children means the concept of spare time is pretty nebulous. However, I do manage the occasional attempt at playing squash and plan to hit a drum kit badly for the amusement or otherwise of delegates at next year’s Warwick Polymer meeting.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Mountain guide in Scotland – no contest.

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Hot Article: Design and synthesis of thermo-responsive hyperbranched poly(amine-ester)s as acid-sensitive drug carriers

Hyperbranched poly(amine-ester)s that combine thermo-responsiveness and a highly branched structure, can be used to construct smart drug delivery systems claim scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. The team led by Xinyuan Zhu and Bangshang Zhu synthesized the hyperbranched polymers with a one-pot through proton-transfer polymerization of triethanolamine, trimethylolpropane, and glycidyl methacrylate using potassium hydride as a catalyst. The team used the hyperbranched polymers to encapsulate the anticancer drug doxorubicin and then tested the effectiveness of the release of the drug in cells.

Graphical abstract: Design and synthesis of thermo-responsive hyperbranched poly(amine-ester)s as acid-sensitive drug carriers

Yan Pang, Jinyao Liu, Yue Su, Jieli Wu, Lijuan Zhu, Xinyuan Zhu, Deyue Yan and Bangshang Zhu, Polym. Chem., 2011,  DOI:10.1039/C1PY00053E,  Advance Article

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the journal’s e-alerts or RSS feeds or follow the Polymer Chemistry on Twitter or Facebook.

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Themed Issue on New Methods of Polymer Synthesis

Polymer Chemistry will publish a themed issue on New Methods of Polymer Synthesis in 2012. Please e-mail the editorial office, polymers-rsc@rsc.org,  if you would like to contribute an article.

The Guest Editors of the issue are Professors Christopher Barner-Kowollik (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany), Jean-François Lutz (Institut Charles Sadron, France) and Sebastien Perrier (University of Sydney, Australia).

The special issue will focus on the latest methodological developments in polymer synthesis, spanning the entire range of synthetic approaches ranging from ionic to coordination to living radical processes. We wish to highlight not only the latest advances within these individual fields, but also demonstrate how they can interconnect and be combined with other emerging synthetic technologies such as orthogonal modular ligation and small molecule organic chemistry. In addition, we wish to encourage our authors to highlight how their novel chemistries can aid in the construction of advanced material concepts. It is the aim to bring together the leading researchers in the field in a cross-methodology state-of-the-art framework of cutting-edge polymer synthesis.

All manuscripts will be handled by the Polymer Chemistry Associate Editors and Editorial office and refereed in accordance to the standard procedures of the journal, and in this respect invited articles will be treated in the same way as regular submissions to the journal.

The deadline for the receipt of manuscripts for this themed issue is 30th September 2011

Manuscripts can be submitted using the RSC’s on-line submissions service. Please clearly mark that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on New Methods of Polymer Synthesis. Please would you inform the editorial office by e-mail at polymers-rsc@rsc.org as soon as possible if you plan to submit to the issue and whether your contribution will be original research or a review-type article.

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Polymer Chemistry Author of the Week- Xinyuan Zhu

Xinyuan Zhu received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at Donghua University, and obtained his Ph.D. degree at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in the group of Prof. Deyue Yan. Following academic appointments at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in Shanghai Jiao Tong University (1997-2003), he joined the BASF research laboratory at the ISIS in Strasbourg as a post-doctoral researcher. He came back to China in 2005, and became a full professor for Polymer Science and Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in the same year. At present, he heads the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His major interests focus on the controlled preparation and biomedical applications of functional polymers with special architectures, such as dendritic polymers and supramolecular polymers.

Please follow the link for further information on Xinyuan’s  recent paper in Polymer Chemistry.

 

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

I was very interested in science, in particular chemistry during high school, so I decided to go for chemistry and chemical engineering at university. I really enjoy the synthetic work and idea developing processes. With chemistry, it is possible to create complex molecules and structures from basic compounds and explore new materials for practical applications. Recently I have the opportunities to collaborate with scientists in biochemistry and medical school, and focus my research on nanomedicine and cancer therapy. Chemistry helps us so much to understand the natural phenomena and to save lives.

What was the motivation behind the research in your recent Polymer Chemistry paper? (DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00161B)

During the last few years, scientists have attempted to develop polymeric drug carriers for potential applications in nanomedicine areas. Controlled synthetic polymers with high stability during long circulation and triggered degradation after drug release are of particular interest. So we prepared a novel pH-triggered backbone-cleavable hyperbranched polyacylhydrazone (HPAH) simply through a polycondensation process. The anticancer drug doxorubicin was conjugated to hydrophilic HPAH and self-assemble into polymeric micelles with an average diameter of 20 nm, which were stable under physiological pH but cleavable after endocytosis. We hope that our paper will show that intelligent, convenient materials could be used, and hence open up more opportunities to exploit more effective nanomedicines.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work?

I’m sure that Polymer Chemistry will be one of the leading journals in polymer society. This is my second paper in Polymer Chemistry, and we will submit more manuscripts to this high quality journal for publication.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

I will attend the 9th World Biomaterials Congress in 2012, where I will be talking about our work on the controlled preparation and bioapplication of hyperbranched polymers. Readers can always contact me by email.

How do you spend your spare times?

I like travelling with my family. I love my wife and teenage daughter very much.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I can not think of anything that I would rather do than being a scientist. Maybe I would be a chef because it is very attractive to design and use all kinds of materials to create new things.

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Conference: European Polymer Congress-Granada, 26th June 2011


European Polymer Federation (EPF) and the group of polymers GEP of the Spanish Royal Chemistry and Royal Physics Societies, would like to send a cordial and warm invitation to participate in the forthcoming  EUROPEAN POLYMER CONGRESS EPF2011, and XII CONGRESS OF THE SPECIALIZED GROUP OF POLYMERS GEP, which will be held in the GRANADA CONGRESS CENTRE “Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos” , from the 26th June until the first of July, 2011. This international conference centre is placed in the centre  of the historical and wonderful city of GRANADA which provides a unique opportunity to combine the participation in the sessions of the most important meeting held in Europe, and discover the magic and wonderful city visiting the  well recognized historical sites considered as HERITAGE OF THE MANKIND.

Universally recognized plenary conference speakers have confirmed their participation, and selected invited speakers will contribute to offer a complete program with 12 plenary conferences, 60 invited lectures, about 350 oral presentations, and a selected number of posters. The topics that will be covered during this conference are;

  1. Synthetic Routes: Monomers and Polymers from Bioresources and Advanced Methodologies
  2. New Analytical and Characterization Tools
  3. Advanced Processing and Recycling Technologies
  4. Polymers for Advanced Applications Including Energy, Transport, Packaging and Environmentally Friendly Activities
  5. Chemistry and Physics of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies
  6. Bioinspired Polymers, Bioengineering and Biotechnology

Prof. Julio San Roman and the organizing committee of the EPF2011/GEP2011, is encouraging the participation of both academic and industrial specialists, to exchange ideas and discuss perspectives in the field of Polymer Science and Technology, to contribute for new developments and close cooperation between scientific groups and companies.

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Hot Article: The effect of molecular weight on the supramolecular interaction between a conjugated polymer and single-walled carbon nanotubes

Researchers from National Research Council of Canada and McMaster University have investigated the effect of molecular weight on the solubility of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs).

Eight poly[2,7-(9,9-dioctylfluorene)-alt-2,5-(3-dodecylthiophene)]s with molecular weights in the range 5–85 kg mol−1 were synthesised. Each polymer was mixed and ultrasonicated with SWNTs in THF. The concentration of the nanotubes in solution was then determined. It was found that the solubility of the polymer–SWNT complexes was strongly dependent on the molecular weight of the polymer. Molecular weights in the range 10–35 kg mol−1 gave the highest SWNT solubility.

Interested to know more? Why not read the full article for free: P. Imin, F. Cheng and A. Adronov, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1404–1408.

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Polymer Chemistry Author of the Week-Patrick Theato

Patrick Theato studied chemistry at the University of Mainz (Germany) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA), and obtained his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. R. Zentel at the University of Mainz in 2001. In 2002, he was awarded a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation and joined the group of Prof. D.Y. Yoon at Seoul National University (Korea), where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow, followed by a short research stay at Stanford University (USA) with Prof C.W. Frank. In 2003, he joined the University of Mainz as a young faculty member and completed his Habilitation in 2007. Since 2009 he holds a joint appointment with the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Seoul National University within the World Class University (WCU) program. In 2011 he accepted a prize senior lectureship at the University of Sheffield (UK). Shortly after he moved to University of Hamburg (Germany), accepting a tenured associate professorship for polymer chemistry. His current research interests include the defined synthesis of reactive polymers, block copolymers, design of multi stimuli-responsive polymers, versatile functionalization of interfaces, hybrid polymers, polymers for electronics and templating of polymers.

Please follow the link to get more information about Patrick’s research group and his recent paper in Polymer Chemistry.

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

Chemistry was my first love. Probably as every student, I was captivated by the fact that chemistry comes with a big bang and a lot of smoke. Who doesn’t remember his first explosion (those planned and those that happened surprisingly)? Seriously, from the first day on in middle school, I was fascinated by the art of creating something on a molecular level. Even though the concept of “molecular level” did not reveal itself to me during those early days. Besides, I was fond of the logic behind this art. The happy marriage of art and crafts-work is what I call chemistry and this motivates me even today.

What was the motivation behind the research in your recent Polymer Chemistry paper? (DOI: 10.1039/C0PY00314J)

Oh, I like this paper very much! It represents our very first approach of taking our expertise in post-polymerization modification chemistry, which we have mastered previously on the molecular level, to construct nanometer-sized objects. When it comes to nanoobjects, most approaches presented in the literature focus on the chemistry first and then utilize “self-assembly” of the building blocks into the desired nanoobject. We took the other way around. We first focused on the creation of the nanoobject (in the present case utilizing a templating approach) and then applied our post-polymerization modification strategies to dial-in the desired chemistry of the nanoobject. As we can control the dimensions and the chemical functionality of the nanoobject independently, it allows us to take the concepts from the synthesis of single polymer chains to the level of nanoobjects.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work?

Polymer Chemistry was launched very recently, and I have to admit that I was rather skeptical at first about yet another journal. But once you look at the contents of the journal in more detail, you will realize that the journal indeed fills a gap that existed for a long time. The chance to concentrate on pure synthetic polymer chemistry is thrilling and an aspect that hardly any other high impact journal offers. I am convinced that it will be one of the top journals when it comes to polymer synthesis. Therefore it was a logical choice for our synthetic paper.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

There are plenty of chances to meet me. Probably too many! [“laughs”]

The next conferences are Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Montreal, Canada, the Gordon Research Conference for Polymers in South Hadley, USA, the ACS Fall meeting in Denver, USA, the 12th Pacific Polymer Conference on Jeju, Korea, and a couple of more small meetings. But readers may always feel free to contact me by email.

How do you spend your spare times?

Spare time? What is that? The rare moments of spare time I enjoy being with my family, travelling, cooking (interestingly, most chemists are good cooks) or fidgeting something on my computer.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Either being a comedian, a computer scientist or in any other way being a happy person.

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Polymer Chemistry Author of the Week – Neil Cameron

Neil Cameron undertook his B.Sc. (1987-1991) and Ph.D. (1991-1994) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Following two post-doctoral periods, first in Eindhoven then at Heriot Watt University, he was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Durham University in October 1997. In 2005 he was promoted to Reader and in October 2008 to Professor. His research is focused on the preparation of bioactive and bio-inspired macromolecules. His research to date has led to the publication of >80 articles, reviews and book chapters and he has given >75 invited lectures at conferences and colloquiua. Currently, he is co-editing a major book on Porous Polymers. He was awarded the 2003 Young Researchers’ Medal from the Macro Group U.K. (a joint subject group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Chemical Industry) and he was a Durham University Christopherson/Knott Fellow for 2008-09. He is currently a member of the EPSRC college, an Honorary Reader in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Newcastle and is a Committee Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Biomaterials Interest Group. He was Durham University’s representative for the 2008 EPSRC International Review of Materials.

Please follow the links for further information on Neil’s research group and his recent paper in Polymer Chemistry.

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

I had always enjoyed science and maths, but I had a very good chemistry teacher at school who introduced me to the wonders of chemistry.  I guess like many boys, I was initially interested in making explosions (!), but that was soon replaced with a more general interest in synthetic chemistry.  In those days, we did lots of experiments in the classroom (many of these would be illegal now!), which I found particularly inspiring.  When it came time to choose a subject to study at university, chemistry was the only thing I was interested in.

What was the motivation behind the research in your recent Polymer Chemistry paper?

We have been working on glycopolymers for quite a few years now.  It is widely known that they demonstrate multivalency, that is, the strength of binding to proteins (lectins) increases non-linearly with the number of sugar residues.  However, there are very few detailed examinations of this effect for linear glycopolymers.  We had been using RAFT to prepare glycopolymers of different chain lengths so it seemed like an ideal opportunity to probe the influence of chain length (and thus valency) on binding.  With techniques such as isothermal titration calorimetry and surface plasmon resonance you can determine not just the binding constant but also the thermodynamics of binding.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work?

The paper is a contribution to a special issue on Bioconjugates, but we would most likely have submitted it to Polymer Chemistry anyway.  The journal is publishing really high quality articles and reviews, and we have been very impressed with how our previously published articles were dealt with.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

The ACS National Meeting at Denver, where I will be talking about our work described in a previous article in Polymer Chemistry…  I am running a symposium on Porous Polymers in the PMSE program.

How do you spend your spare time?

I travel quite a lot so I spend all my free time with my family.  My son and I are training in karate, we’re both at 5th Kyu (blue belt) grade at the moment.  My hope is that we will take our black belt gradings together, so long as he doesn’t get there first!

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I can’t think of anything that I would rather be doing – at least, nothing that I could get paid for!

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Top Ten most-read Polymer Chemistry articles in April

Here are the most-read Polymer Chemistry articles for April 2011:

Construction of mixed micelle with cross-linked core and dual responsive shells
Cong Chang, Hua Wei, Qian Li, Bin Yang, Ni Chen, Jin-Ping Zhou, Xian-Zheng Zhang and Ren-Xi Zhuo, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 923-930

Synthesis of thermoresponsive oxazolone end-functional polymers for reactions with amines using thiol-Michael addition “click” chemistry
The Hien Ho, Martin Levere, Jean-Claude Soutif, Véronique Montembault, Sagrario Pascual and Laurent Fontaine, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1258-1260

Overcoming the PEG-addiction: well-defined alternatives to PEG, from structure–property relationships to better defined therapeutics
Matthias Barz, Robert Luxenhofer, Rudolf Zentel and María J. Vicent, Polym. Chem., 2011, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C0PY00406E

Photo-responsive, biocompatible polymeric micelles self-assembled from hyperbranched polyphosphate-based polymers         
Chaojian Chen, Gongyan Liu, Xiangsheng Liu, Shaopeng Pang, Congshan Zhu, Liping Lv and Jian Ji, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1389-1397

Polymeric nanomaterials from combined click chemistry and controlled radical polymerization           
Rong Fu and Guo-Dong Fu, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 465-475

Optimizing the generation of narrow polydispersity ‘arm-first’ star polymers made using RAFT polymerization           
Julien Ferreira, Jay Syrett, Michael Whittaker, David Haddleton, Thomas P. Davis and Cyrille Boyer, Polym. Chem., 2011, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00102G

Thiol-ene “click” reactions and recent applications in polymer and materials synthesis
Andrew B. Lowe, Polym. Chem., 2010, 1, 17-36

Surface modification of carbon nanotubes with dendrimers or hyperbranched polymers
Jiao-Tong Sun, Chun-Yan Hong and Cai-Yuan Pan, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 998-1007

Functionalization of inorganic nanoparticles with polymers for stealth biomedical applications
Koon Gee Neoh and En Tang Kang, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 747-759

New micellar morphologies from amphiphilic block copolymers: disks, toroids and bicontinuous micelles
Simon J. Holder and Nico A. J. M. Sommerdijk, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 1018-1028

To keep up-to-date with all the best Polymer Chemistry research articles, sign up for the journal’s e-alerts here.

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