Developing a Toolbox of Sustainable Materials towards Advanced Engineering Applications

Sugar-based polymers with a close loop lifecycle for applications in bulk materials, agriculture, and drug delivery.

Sugar-based Polymers with a Close-Loop Lifecycle: Sustainable monomers towards advanced engineering applications

Inefficient current recycling processes and by-products with little value from newly designed degradable materials are problematic. Designing systems with a closed-loop lifecycle will dramatically improve the recycling process. Sugar chemistry has been well explored over the last 50 years, making it an excellent toolbox in designing sustainable monomers. We propose rationally designed sugar-based for a series of broad applications, including bulk materials (thermoplastics and thermosets) and delivery of small molecules and macromolecules towards agricultural and biomedical applications.

  • Develop synthetic strategies for the rational design of sugar-based monomers
  • Develop nano-objects from natural product-based polymers
  • Explore and characterize materials for applications towards plastics, biomedicine, and agriculture

Polyphenolic Catechol Motifs for the Development of Ordered Polymers: Expanding the scope of natural product-based monomers and their applications in biomedicine

Emulating higher-order function that is displayed in Nature has been the driving force for many synthetic efforts. Leveraging the multitude of interactions undergone by the catechol, compounds will be designed polymerization then their self-assemblies will aid in the exploration of complex biomedical applications.

  • Develop polymers from catechol-based monomers
  • Explore elastomeric materials for biomedical applications
  • Design nano-objects to cross the blood brain barrier to lead to a better understanding of psychological disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychoses
Catechol-based monomers for the synthesis of supramolecular polymers towards applications in delivering imaging tools to the brain and elastomeric biomaterials for neural engineering applications.
Design of Recycling Project, Transformation of Commodity Plastics into Synthetically Useful Feedstocks

Transformation of Commodity Plastics into Synthetically Useful Feedstocks

Plastics are a global challenge. Society is highly dependent upon plastics to add value to everyday life, however, the end-of-life products are highly problematic, especially when they enter into our waterways, crowd our waste streams, and produce nanoplastics that get into the environment. Commodity plastics are often made up of C-C backbones, which are difficult to break down into useful feedstocks. Overcoming the challenge of transforming the commodity plastics into practical small molecules will be a societal and environmental benefit

  • Upcycle commodity plastics into value-added polymers
  • Study thermal and mechanical properties of the synthesized polymers
  • Investigate polymer degradation route