Professor and Carl Robert Anderson Chair in Chemical Engineering
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Bethlehem, PA 18015 USA
Conjugated Polymers: From Chemistry and Processing to Applications
Organic/polymer semiconductors offer opportunities for low-cost device fabrication for applications ranging from energy to health care to security. However, their successful commercialization relies on the design and development of sustainable, robust and reliable materials chemistries and processes. Molecular design coupled with solution behavior play a significant role in determining a materials thin-film electronic performance. In the search for high performance charge transport materials, molecular structure is a prime consideration, where that structure must be amenable to assembly and organization into nano- through meso-scale architectures that support transport. Here, the relationships between molecular structure and solution processing protocols that provide for the requisite charge transport pathways will be explored. The resulting fundamental insights will enable the realization of robust and reproducible semiconducting solutions for flexible electronics applications. Further, the ability to manipulate conjugated molecular architectures to support both electronic and ionic transport provide opportunities for the development of robust, high-capacity energy storage solutions.
Arman Moini Jazani
Development and Disassembly of Dual Location Acid-Degradable Intracellular Drug Delivery Block Copolymer Nanoassemblies
Acidic pH-cleavable block copolymer micelles have been attractive as effective drug delivery nanocarriers due to their site-specific stimuli-responsive properties, capable of enhanced release of encapsulated cargos in cancer cells. Most approaches to synthesize these nanoassemblies involve the integration of acid-cleavable linkages either in the hydrophobic cores for core-degradable nanoassemblies or at the interfaces between hydrophilic coronas and cores for shell-sheddable nanoassemblies. However, these single location systems could have several limitations: sluggish degradation for core-degradable nanoassemblies, undesired aggregation of degraded products for shell-sheddable nanoassemblies, and difficulty in controlled and on-demand drug release.
My PhD research aims at exploring a new platform of polymeric nanoassemblies that can be disassembled upon degradation of acid-cleavable linkages positioned in two different locations (cores and interfaces). The platform has explored not only single acidic pH as an endogenous stimulus, but also its combination with glutathione found in cancer cells. Our results suggest that this new platform holds a great promise for accelerated degradation and rapid drug release from block copolymer nanoassemblies due to synergistic degradation mechanisms (e.g. change in hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance and corona detachment) at two locations.