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Bernal Institute Research Forum

Fri, 07 Jul 2017

Date: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 12:00 to 13:00
Duration: One hour
Contact: Joan O'Riordan -
Location: MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension, Ireland

Professor Wenxin Wang, The Charles Institute of Dermatology, School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin.

New Dendritic and Knot/cyclized Polymers from Controlled Multivinyl Monomer Polymerisation and Their Biomedical Applications

Classical theory has long claimed that the polymerizations of multi-vinyl monomers (MVM) lead to insoluble cross-linked materials, as defined by P. Flory and W. Stockmayer 70 years ago (F-S theory)1, and has since been numerously observed experimentally. Therefore, the (homo)polymerization of MVMs is still considered as a formidable task in chain growth polymerization. In recent decades, the introduction of controlled/living radical polymerizations (CRP) including atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) etc., has led to a significant advance in both synthetic polymer chemistry and physics. We have developed different strategies that allow facile syntheses of unprecedented 3D structured multifunctional materials from commercial available multi-vinyl monomers (MVMs). The syntheses by deactivation enhanced controlled/living radical polymerization can build the MVMs up into either ‘Single Cyclized‘ polymer structures2 via linear/cyclization growth strategy, or via ‘vinyl oligomer combination’ strategy to yield veritable hyperbranched polymers3, 4. Our breakthrough lies in the ability to alter the growth manner of polymerization by controlling the kinetic chain length together with manipulating chain growth conditions to achieve two clearly different polymer structures. The first is a single chain which is linked repeatedly to create a dense but soluble interlaced knot structure and the second is a combination of short chains to create a veritable dendritic structure which possesses a highly branched structure. The new polymeric materials created from MVMs have demonstrated the great potentials in biomedical applications such as gene delivery vector and injectable scaffold.

[1] P. J. Flory, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1941; 63, 3083.
[2] Y. Zheng, H. Cao, B. Newland, Y. Dong, A. Pandit, W. Wang, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011; 133, 13130.
[3] T. Zhao, Y. Zheng, J. Poly, W. Wang, Nature Communications. 2013, 2013, 4, 1873.
[4] T. Zhao, H. Zhang, B. Newland, A. Aied, D. Zhou, W. Wang, Angewandte Chemie, 2014, 53(24), 6095.

Wenxin Wang is Associate Professor in Wound Healing and a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Principal Investigator at the Charles Institute of Dermatology, School of Medicine, UCD. Professor Wang’s scientific interests and expertise covers the development of polymer therapeutics and gene therapy for the wound healing, extending from dendritic polymers to smart polymers for a wide range of applications particularly for tissue engineering (e.g. hydrogels for stem cell encapsulation and delivery), drug delivery, 3D bio-printing, from new colloidal polymer particles to organic/inorganic hybrid nanomaterials, and from biodegradable to fluorinated and silicone polymers. Professor Wang’s scientific achievements have been recognized extensively. This is reflected in his productive track record as a publishing author that includes over 150 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers such as Science Advance, Nature Communication, JACS, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, 3 book chapters, 8 patents and 4 filed patent applications. He has been invited over 50 times as a keynote speaker or invited speaker at international conferences and Universities and has hosted 17 conferences as a member of the advisory board, organizer, chair/convenor. As the founder, Professor Wang has launched a spin-out company: Vornia Biomaterials. Currently, Professor Wang is the Chairman of the Board and CSO of this company. Professor Wang has won the highly prestigious “The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) prize in Regenerative Medicine” in 2010 at TERMIS-EU conference. Professor Wang has been selected as an expert reviewer and panel member by 17 research councils and funding bodies.


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