Seminar: Dr Robert Chapman - Oxygen Tolerant Polymerisations for the Combinatorial Design of Biomaterials

Thursday, 27 April 2017 - 12:00pm – Thursday, 27 April 2017 - 1:00pm  |  Chem Sci M10

Speaker: Dr Robert Chapman

High throughput combinatorial synthesis of polymers is emerging as an important method for the discovery and development of novel biomaterials. By rapidly screening libraries of polymer structures, promising candidates can often be much more reliably found than by a rational design approach. [1]

Recently, we developed a method for preparing well-defined polymers in the presence of oxygen, which makes use of the enzyme glucose oxidase to scrub oxygen from reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerizations, which we termed Enz-RAFT.[2,3] Since our work a number of other approaches have been demonstrated which make use of photocatalysts such as eosin Y,[4] and porphorins[5] to scrub the oxygen. Using such systems, polymerizations can be conducted in extremely low volumes (<40 µL) without any degassing in microtiter plates across a range of monomer families and molecular weights. Block extensions can be performed in a single well without any purification by simple addition of the subsequent monomer, and complex star polymers can be prepared either via polymerization from multi-arm RAFT agents or via an arm first approach. Recent results on the architectures available from oxygen tolerant well plate polymerizations and our application of these systems to design novel biomaterials will be discussed.


[1] M. Goldberg, K. Mahon, D. Anderson, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2008, 60, 971–8;

[2] A. J. Gormley, R. Chapman, M. M. Stevens, Nano Letters, 2014, 14, 6368–6373; R. Chapman, A. J. Gormley, K. L. Herpoldt, M. M. Stevens, Macromolecules 2014, 47, 8541–8547;

[3] R. Chapman, A. J. Gormley, M. H. Stenzel, M. M. Stevens, Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed., 2016, 128, 4576–4579;

[4] J. Yeow, R. Chapman, R, J. Xu, C. Boyer, Polymer Chemistry, 2017, ASAP, DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00007C;

[5] N. Corrigan, D. Rosli, J. Warren, J. Jones, J. Xu, C. Boyer, Macromolecules, 2016, 49, 6779–6789