News

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-adsorbing 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.

Collaborative paper with Dankers lab out in Macromolecules

The results of a collaborative project with the group of Patricia Dankers has been published in Macromolecules. In the project the functionalization of a supramolecular biomaterial with zwitterionic poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate) via atom transfer radical polymerization from a macroinitiator additive was achieved. In addition, the polymerization from the macroinitiator additive was successfully translated to functional electrospun scaffolds, showing the potential for this functionalization strategy in supramolecular material systems. The full paper can be read here.

Paper Esther and Andriy out in Langmuir

Esther and Andriy’s joint paper on the design, synthesis and characterisation of so-called bottlebrush coatings, based on a powerful combination of poly(N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide) [poly(HPMA)] – known for its antifouling properties – and poly(L-lysine) (PLL) – selected for its ability to strongly adhere to surfaces – has been accepted for publication in Langmuir. Three routes to prepare antifouling coatings were developed by Esther and Andriy, and evaluated in terms of ease of synthesis, scalability, ease of characterization, and a preliminary investigation of their antifouling performance. The full paper can be read here.

Team NanopLESStic wins Holland Chemistry Student Competition

During the annual Dutch Chemistry Conference, Chains, students from our lab (and the BCT lab) at WUR were announced winner of the 2019 Holland Chemistry Student competition, for their work on a nanoplastics filter. On the NWO website you can read more about the project, and you can watch a video from the team.

Congrats to Team NanopLESStic: Dorien, Laura and Ezra. (And thanks to KWR, Royal HaskoningDHV, and Wetsus for their support).