CHEM Seminar: “Stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles for biomedical applications”, Turgay Yıldırım, University of Warwick, 12:30 Noon November 10 (EN)

Title : Stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles for biomedical applications

Speaker: Turgay Yıldırım, University of Warwick, The United Kingdom.

Date : November 10th, 2020, Tuesday
Time : 12.30

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Stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles have recently gained tremendous attention, in particular in the field of controlled drug delivery, sensing as well as imaging. The tailor-made design of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles mostly relies on the incorporation of desired stimuli-responsive motifs into the polymers. However, the challenge is to synthesize the corresponding polymers in a well-defined and reproducible way. In order to ensure the reliability and the reproducibility of the stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticle systems, synthesis of polymers with well-defined chemical composition, molar mass, high end group fidelity and low dispersity are crucial. The development of reversible deactivation radical polymerization (RDRP) techniques during the last decades including nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP), atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization has tremendously simplified the synthesis of well-defined polymers. Among these polymerization methods, the RAFT polymerization process is probably the most commonly used one as a result of its tolerance of a wide variety of polymerization conditions and different functionalities in the monomers. After the synthesis of the stimuli responsive polymers, it is also crucial to formulate the resulting stimuli-responsive nanoparticles in a controlled way. Being facile, time-saving and cheap, nanoprecipitation represents a straightforward technique to fabricate nanoparticles. To this end, the focus of my talk will be on (i) the synthesis of several novel amphiphilic stimuli-responsive statistical or block copolymers via RAFT copolymerization of various functional monomers, (ii) the self-assembly behavior of the polymers by nanoprecipitation, (iii) studies the stimuli-responsive behavior of the nanoparticles, and (iv) evaluation of these nanoparticles for possible biomedical applications.

Turgay Yildirim obtained a BSc degree in Chemistry from Bogazici University in 2010. Then, he remained at the same university to pursue his MSc in Chemistry, working on the synthesis of branched alkyl substituted phenylene derivatives as potential drug molecules active against prostate cancer in the research group of Assoc. Prof. Ali Ersin Acar. In 2013, Turgay granted full PhD scholarship from Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and moved to Germany to carry out his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Ulrich S. Schubert, within the Jena Center of Soft Matter and Jena Center of Applied Sciences. Turgay’s PhD work focused on stimuli responsive polymeric nanoparticles for biomedical applications. During his PhD, he worked on controlled radical polymerization techniques (mainly RAFT polymerization), living polymerization techniques (CROP, AROP), and investigated how polymer nanostructures responses environmental stimuli such as pH, temperature, redox and ultrasound. After completing his PhD, he moved to the group of Prof. Rachel O’Reilly at the University of Warwick in 2018 as a research fellow within the Leverhulme Trust funded project “Self-organising carbon nanosensors for imaging morphogenic gradients in plants” in collaboration with Prof. Richard Napier, where he focused on design, synthesis and characterization of bespoke novel synthetic polymers through various synthetic strategies (RAFT, ROMP) with a particular interest in how polymer architecture can be tuned to obtain sub 20 nm nanoparticles for particle delivery in plants. He, then moved to University of Birmingham, together with the Rachel O’Reilly research group and started to work on the EPSRC funded project “Optically controlled fluid flow: enabling smart paper-based medical diagnostic devices”, which was in cooperation with Prof. Robert Eason from University of Southampton, where he mainly focused on the synthesis of light responsive polymers. During his post-doctoral research, Turgay also had the opportunity to carry out a research on the synthesis of magnetic & fluorescent nanoparticles. In the beginning of 2020, Turgay returned to Turkey and started to work as a senior researcher at a nanotechnology company but looking for opportunities to start his independent research career. Turgay’s research interests includes precision polymer synthesis, nanoparticle engineering to allow for the preparation of functional and responsive nanostructures and organic/inorganic hybrid nanoparticles, to allow their application in a wide range of settings such as delivery vehicles or sensors which can be utilised in a wide range of applications from materials science to medicine.