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Chemistry Seminar, 'Smart Polymer-Protein Hybrids and Sugar-Responsive Micelles'

Speaker: Dr. Brent Sumerlin - University of Florida

Title:  "Smart polymer-protein hybrids and sugar-responsive micelles"



This presentation will discuss our results in two areas of responsive polymeric nanomaterials. The first topic of the presentation will discuss glucose-responsive polymers and their potential to be employed in the area of sugar-induced release of diabetes therapeutics.

Boronic acid-containing block copolymers were shown to be both pH- and glucose-responsive in aqueous media, which led to unique adaptive self-assembly behavior. Polymeric micelles and vesicles constructed from these block copolymers were capable of encapsulating model therapeutics and allowing their release upon an increase in the surrounding glucose concentration.

The second topic of the presentation will describe the synthesis and characterization of polymer-protein conjugates.

Specifically, block copolymer-protein bioconjugates were prepared by grafting from proteins modified with reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) agents. Both maleimide-functional and activated ester-functional RAFT agents were reacted with cysteine or amine residues, respectively, on model proteins to afford protein macro-chain transfer agents that contained the RAFT agents immobilized via their R-groups.  Polymerization of N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) led to poly(DMA)-protein conjugates that retained the thiocarbonylthio functionality necessary for addition of a second block of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide). The resulting block copolymer conjugates contained an outer hydrophilic block and an inner thermoresponsive block. Cleavage of the block copolymers from the proteins and subsequent analysis suggested the homopolymerizations and subsequent block copolymerizations were efficient and well-controlled. Preliminary solution studies of the resulting block copolymer-conjugates indicated the self-assembly behavior and bioactivity could be controlled by temperature modulation.


 Web site

Seminar not web cast

Visit   to view the 2013 Fall Chemistry seminar schedule & directions to view live & archived web casts

Thursday, 26 September, 2013


Pam Roach

Phone: 865-974-3260



Buehler Hall

Room 555
1420 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
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