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Precisely Defined, Surface-Engineered Nanostructures via Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly of Linear-Dendritic Block Copolymers (ANIM)
Start date: May 1, 2014, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Recent advances made in the field of crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) with a crystallisable core-forming block in selective solvents have opened up exciting opportunities in the creation of well-defined nanostructures such as monodisperse cylinders with precisely controlled length. Herein, we propose to study linear-dendritic BCPs and to obtain new, well-defined materials with the dimensional precision provided by CDSA and also higher orders of complexity arising from surface functionalization with dendrimers.The overall objectives of this proposal are two-fold. First, to combine well-defined dendrons with crystallizable linear blocks such as metal-containing polyferrocenylsilane (PFS) and crystalline biodegradable organic blocks such as polycaprolactone (PCL) and polylactide (PLA) to yield linear-dendritic BCPs to further advance fundamental knowledge by studying their self-assembly behavior. Second, by combining CDSA and dendrimer science we intend to take a significant step toward the creation of precisely surface-engineered materials for potential applications in nanomedicine.The proposed research objectives will be accomplished by bringing a highly talented researcher, Dr. Nazemi, from Canada with his extensive experience in dendrimer synthesis and bionanomaterials to stay for 2 years in one of Europe’s highest ranked research laboratories, that of Professor Ian Manners at Bristol. This group is recognised as being among the world leaders in the fields of metallopolymers, BCP self-assembly, and in particular the use of CDSA. At the end of the 2 year stay Dr. Nazemi wishes to return to Canada to take up an academic position at a research-intensive University.

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