Self-Immolative Polymeric Sensors

   School of Chemistry & Food

  , , Prof H Osborn  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Stimuli-responsive compounds, such as self-immolative molecules and polymers,[1] have become significant targets in organic-based material development as systems of this type offer enormous potential in a diverse range of applications that span drug delivery, biological and chemical sensors, diagnostics, and degradable polymers or degrade-on-demand adhesives. The Hayes group have developed several novel self-immolative materials that respond to specific chemical triggers[2-4] and this project targets the discovery of polymers that produce a colorimetric response to specific bacteria via degradative pathways with a view to developing indicator strips for use in the healthcare industry. The project will provide excellent training in the field of polymeric materials – it will involve organic and polymer synthesis, characterisation of the new materials (using techniques such as NMR, IR, UV spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis (DSC, TGA) in the University's Chemical Analysis Facility) plus GPC analysis (available in the Hayes group research laboratory), physical assessment of the polymeric materials via rheology and tensiometry (these instruments are also available in the Hayes research laboratory) in addition to establishing how these self-immolative polymers degrade when triggered by specific enzymes. In addition to gaining invaluable scientific technical skills, this project will also develop the ability of the postgraduate student to conduct independent research by providing training on the use of databases (such as Web of Knowledge, Scifinder Scholar, Reaxsys), presentation skills and writing reports. By the end of the PhD training, the student will be able to design and execute reactions, interpret complex analytical datasets, and summarise this information in a variety of formats (such as in presentations at group meetings or international conferences or in peer-reviewed publications).  

Chemistry (6) Materials Science (24)


"[1] Self-Immolative Linkers in Polymeric Delivery Systems, C A Blencowe, A T Russell, F Greco, W Hayes and D W Thornthwaite, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 773-790.
[2] Self-Immolative Base-Mediated Conjugate Release from Triazolylmethylcarbamates, C A Blencowe, D W Thornthwaite, W Hayes and A T Russell, Organic Biomolecular Chemistry, 2015, 13, 8703-8707.
[3] Self-immolative systems for the disclosure of reactive electrophilic alkylating agents, A L Acton, F Leroux, A Feula, K Melia, M R Sambrook, W Hayes and A T Russell, Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 5219-5222.
[4] A self-immolative system for disclosure of electrophiles – understanding the role of the reporter group, A Gavriel, F Leroux, G S Khurana, V Tsanova, A M Chippindale, M Sambrook, W Hayes, A T Russell, J. Org. Chem., 2021, 86, 15, 10263–10279.

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