Welcome to the website of the group of Maarten Smulders, which is part of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University & Research. Please check out our website to find out more about the research of the group, the researchers, as well as opportunities to join the group.

Recent news

NWO Circularity Grant awarded

Maarten was awarded an NWO Circularity Grant for a project entitled “Dynamic Branching for Circularity (DYNABRANCH)”. A consortium of WUR, TUE, AVANS Breda and SABIC, lead by Maarten, will take on two PhD students and a postdoc to: 1) achieve chemically modification of engineering plastics with dynamic covalent chemistry to improve their recyclability, and 2) to study the societal acceptance of these new polymers.

More information can be read on the website of NWO.

Latest paper of Esther published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

The collaborative work by Esther van Andel with the WUR groups of Cell Biology and Immunology and Biochemistry has resulted in a publication in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. In this work, Esther nicely demonstrates how magnetic beads, equipped with an antifouling coating and an antibody can be used to very specifically identify relevant protein–protein interactions with a strong reduction in unwanted nonspecific protein binding.

You can read the full story here.

Two UCo grants awarded

Two consortia that Maarten Smulders is part of, have been awarded an Unusual Collaborations (UCo) Grant. Unusual Collaborations Grants are designed to take an idea or project further by enabling innovative, interdisciplinary science and scholarship that aims for societal impact.
The UCo grants are awarded by the Centre for Unusual Collaborations (CUCo), which is one of the core teams in the Strategic Alliance between Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht. The Centre has been set up by the Young Academies of the four institutions in the Strategic Alliance. The idea is that by joining forces, we will be able to address the societal challenges of today and of the future in a more sustainable way.
The two initiatives that have been awarded an UCo Grant are:

  1. All in the same boat: securing water from raindrop to tap. This initiative addresses the need for reliable access to clean water. The consortium will develop an open-access and integrative framework with indicators to evaluate and improve water security.
  2. Structures of Strength (SoS): Unusual Collaborations on Porous Materials; a solution for health, food and environmental challenges. This initiative aims to become a permanent platform that provides unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations, becoming the go-to for all researchers with questions related to porous materials.

More information can be found on the CUCo website.

Three papers published on antifouling brushes

The year has been off to a good start, with three papers being published on antifouling coatings. Andriy and Lucas jointly published two papers in Advanced Materials Interfaces, while Annemieke had a paper accepted in Applied Surface Science.

The Advanced Materials Interfaces paper (lead by Andriy) reports on random and diblock copolymer brushes with antifouling properties, prepared by surface-initiated photoinduced electron-transfer-reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (SI-PET-RAFT). These brushes are based on HPMA (superb antifouling) and CBMA (good antifouling and functionalisable via activated ester chemistry) and are therefore of interest for use as functional antifouling coatings in various biosensing application.

The second Advanced Materials Interfaces paper (lead by Lucas) reports on thermoresponsive poly(NMEP) brushes. In this research, the thermoresponsive and antifouling properties of poly(NMEP) polymer brushes are investigated and the possibility to incorporate poly(NMEP) in more complex polymer brush structures are demonstrated.

Finally, Annemieke’s Applied Surface Science paper presents a thorough study on the behaviour of various polymer brushes, with varying degree of fluorination, in damaging, healing and fouling conditions. This work is driven by the need to reduce the fluorine content of coatings in view of the environmental impact of (poly-)fluorinated compounds, without comprising their antifouling and self-healing performance.