News and Events

ICES develops biodegradable polymer via living polymerisation

Apr 05 2019

Alexander Jackson and his team at ICES have synthesised star hyperbranched polymers which can both encapsulate drug molecules and then biodegrade into smaller components. This was achieved through the introduction of cyclic molecules known as ketene acetals. 

“Radical ring-opening polymerisations of cyclic ketene acetals have been understood for about 30 years," said Dr Jackson. "The really exciting aspect of this research was to take this chemistry and combine it with modern techniques using 'living' polymer chains." Living polymerisations are able to grow outwards upon addition of different building blocks. 

Dr Jackson added that this approach will be employed to develop polymers such as degradable polystyrene and other acrylates. He is now working with his team at ICES to help manufacturers expand the possibilities of recyclable polymeric materials.

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