421058 Functional Polymers for Industrial and Bio-Applications: Synthesis, Properties & Engineering

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Manos Gkikas, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Abstract: From the ring-opening polymerization of N-carboxy anhydrides (NCAs) yielding polypeptides, to carbon/graphene materials and military-related applications such as the preparation of responsive hydrogels against toxic gases, as well as designed functional materials for internal bleeding and imaging to tissue adhesives/sealants, the challenges are numerous. Organic synthesis is a great tool for designing new monomers, clickable reagents and functionalized organic compounds for coupling reactions, leading to well-defined polymers and materials that can be used for industrial and bio-applications. Particular focus is given on water-soluble polymers that can form responsive hydrogels, leading to swelling/collapsing mechanisms against an agent or higher affinity compounds or temperature, and can be examined through rheology and neutron scattering. Furthermore, injectable materials are designed that can lead to significant reduction in bleeding time in live animals or can be spontaneously polymerized under physiological conditions, adhering tissues or sealing air/lymphatic fluids, supporting the current clinical materials. Finally, collagen-mimetic hydrogels for cosmetics are designed in large scale via polypeptide synthesis, with highly stretching and reforming capabilities, with the aim of commercializing the product.

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