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From bulkplastics to biomedical polymers

16 October 2012

Inaugural lecture: Mr. prof. A. Herrmann, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Title: From bulkplastics to biomedical polymers

Leeropdracht: polymeerchemie

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

The aim of the lecture is to give a historical perspective on the development of the field of macromolecular chemistry and summarize future trends in the same area. In the beginning a definition for synthetic polymers will be given followed by a description of polymerization reactions. Various established industrial polymers are then introduced and their applications are discussed. These materials have found entry in almost any part of our daily life and goods fabricated from plastics are omnipresent in our modern society. Since it is projected that polymers play also a very important role in the future, two developing trends in the field of macromolecules will be highlighted, i.e. plastics for electronics and polymers in biomedicine. Regarding the latter topic, hybrid polymers consisting of deoxy ribonucleic acid (DNA) and synthetic polymers investigated in our group are introduced. These materials assemble into nanoscopic structures which are then utilized as potential drug delivery vehicles, as probes in diagnostics and as building blocks in miniaturized electronic devices. Furthermore, it will be detailed how nucleic acids are employed as a synthetic tool to fabricate complex drug molecules and it will be demonstrated how DNA can be engineered to produce surfaces that slide without almost any friction in an aqueous environment.

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