New PhD Position: development of an ingestible sensor

As part of a collaboration of imec, the Synthetic Organic Chemistry group at Radboud University in Nijmegen and our Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University & Research, we have a PhD position vacant on the development of an ingestible sensor. Ingestible sensors have the potential to non-invasively measure biomarkers and metabolites in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Using such electronic smart pills equipped with sensors will give novel insights into gut processes, help with early diagnosis and screening for diseases, and aid personalised nutrition. The project is highly interdisciplinary involving organic chemistry, surface chemistry and biocatalysis and therefore strongly relies on teamwork and collaboration as the laboratory work will take place in the labs of all three project partners.

Interested to read more about the vacancy? You can find the full vacancy here.

Sybren’s work features on the cover of Polymer Chemistry

Sybren’s recently accepted paper in Polymer Chemistry has made the cover of the journal. The cover artfully illustrates how a change in polarity in polyimine networks can affect the mechanical properties of the materials: i.e. from soft, ‘water-like’ materials in the case of polar chains, to hard, ‘rock-like’ materials in the case of apolar chains. The Polymer Chemistry issue that features his work, can be found here.

Maarten features in the Pioneering Investigators 2021 issue of Polymer Chemistry

Maarten was invited to contribute to the 2021 Pioneering Investigators issue of the journal Polymer Chemistry. As explained on their website, this collection “gathers the very best work from mid-career researchers who have firmly established themselves in the field of polymer chemistry and continuously publish creative, innovative work”. The full issue can be read here.

Welcome to Shauni

Last week Shauni Keller started in the group as a postdoc on a NWO GoChem KIEM project, entitled “Metaschuim – een nieuw en effectief geluidsisolerend materiaal“. This project, which was started as part of the Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition and which was ultimately the winning project, is now aiming at a more systematic study how foam-like polymer materials containing beads can be prepared, characterised and applied as sound-absorbing materials. Based on the principle of local resonances and viscous dampening, such ‘metafoams’ are capable of dampening both high and low frequency sound. As a result, metafoams can help to tackle the issue of noise pollution, which has increased in severity over the years as a result of population growth, advances in technology and urbanisation.

Good luck, Shauni!

Double congrats to Sybren

This week we not only congratulate Sybren on his birthday, but also on acceptance of his paper in Polymer Chemistry. In this work, Sybren has shed light on the effect of polarity on the dynamic material properties of polyimine-based covalent adaptable networks. The paper will be part of the Polymer Chemistry Pioneering Investigators Issue 2021, to which Maarten was invited. The accepted manuscript is available here.

Congrats to Sybren for his paper in Chemical Science

Sybren’s first paper was published in the journal Chemical Science. In his paper, entitled Molecular Control over Vitrimer-like Mechanics – Tuneable Dynamic Motifs based on the Hammett Equation, Sybren demonstrated how the physical-organic Hammett equation can be used to control the material properties of imine-based covalent adaptable networks. His results guide the way to durable and sustainable materials with unique and predictable properties from a bottom-up physical-organic approach.

Sybren’s project is part of the Vidi program of Maarten on 4D control over smart dynamic polymers, financed by NWO.

The full paper can be read here.

Focus session Dynamic Polymers for Advanced Materials at NWO Chains 2020

Together with Matt Baker (MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine, Maastricht University) Maarten is co-organising a focus session during the next NWO Chains conference. Their focus session is entitled Dynamic Polymers for Advanced Materials, is scheduled for Wednesday December 9, from 14.15-15.35h, and will host a combination of international and national speakers.

While traditional polymeric materials are built from static covalent bonds, the incorporation of dynamic, responsive and reversible bonds into polymeric materials provides enhanced properties for many fields. In particular, very recently the use of dynamic covalent bonds, which combine robustness (due to the covalent nature of the bond) with reversibility, has opened up the routes towards new functional polymers, even beyond the scope attainable through –by now– classical supramolecular bonds. These materials range from recyclable and self-healing materials, to dynamic and stimuli-responsive smart systems, smartly designed dynamic polymers are beginning to impact our lives in applications from manufacturing to biomedical implants. This session will focus on recent developments in the use of dynamic covalent motifs as the reversible units within materials.

Make sure to register for Chains, if you want to attend this focus session.