Anna Constantinou has obtained a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Cyprus in 2014 and an MSc in Advanced Materials Science and Engineering from Imperial College London (ICL). She is currently doing a PhD in Polymer Chemistry at the Department of Materials at ICL.
Thermo-responsive polymers which respond to the temperature by forming physical gels are popular candidates for 3-D printing. The sol phase facilitates the loading of the polymer-containing ink into the needle, whereas the gel phase contributes to the maintenance of the formed 3-D structure. In this project, thermo-responsive ABC triblock copolymers polymers were synthesised via group transfer polymerisation (GTP). The A, B, and C blocks were based on a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) methacrylate, n-butyl methacrylate (BuMA), and 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA). Three different PEG based monomers were used as the A block; di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate, penta(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate, and nona(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate, which are abbreviated as DEGMA, PEGMA, and NEGMA, respectively. Systematic studies of the composition as well as the length of PEG side group were carried out. Three different compositions as well as three different PEG based monomers were used, resulting in nine ABC triblock copolymers. The molecular weight (MW) and the architecture were kept constant. Their values were determined by previous studies carried out by the group which showed that these parameters induce the clearest sol-gel transition. The effect of the PEG side group length and the composition on the thermoresponsive behaviour of the resulted polymers was investigated. Both parameters proved to affect the sol-gel transition. More specifically, the thermo-responsive behaviour was favoured by decreasing the PEG side group length and by increasing the hydrophobic content, as expected.
Aurica P. Chiriac has completed her PhD in 1994. She has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals and she is member in editorial board of some reputed journals. She has participated in more than 15 Romanian Projects and 5 European Projects.
The synthesis of “smart” molecules is current areas of research as their specific functions can significantly improve their performance in various applications. This study is devoted to synthesis and investigations of poly(N,N dimethylacrylamide-co-3, 9-divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-tetraoxaspiro (5.5) undecane) as “smart” macromolecular compound in order to evaluate the physico-chemical characteristics in terms of temperature and pH sensitive abilities, as well its rheological, dielectric and spectroscopic properties. The new system can be included into the “smart” polymer class owing to the gel formation capacity, binding properties, amphilicity, good oxidative and thermal stability, biocompatibility, good films forming, pH sensitive response which is able for. This study evaluates the physiochemical characteristics of poly(N,N-dimethyl- acrylamide-co-3, 9-divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-tetraoxaspiro (5.5) undecane) (PDMA_U) in terms of temperature-sensitive abilities, rheological and dielectrical properties, for bringing useful information for further specific use of these compounds. The stereochemistry of the copolymer network ensures intramolecular strategies for further coupling processes and as well to become a multi-sensitive drug delivery system. In this context quercetin was imprinted into the polymer network and the antioxidant character of the new system was tested. The bio-compatibility was tested in vivo, and granuloma test in rats was performed correlated with the activity of enzymes involved in oxidative stress as well as immunologic effects of tested supramolecular complexes that include quercetin as therapeutic agent.