“Innovations of precise macromolecules: Catalysis, high throughput, and bio-applications.”
Proteins contain discrete primary sequences that lead to defined chemical structures through precise supramolecular folding and assembly. In contrast, synthetic macromolecular materials are typically polydisperse with a random sequence and with poorly defined structures. Achieving better control of polymer structures offers a unique opportunity to better understand the structure-activity relationship of the materials and enable new applications. In this talk, we will see how folded single-chain polymer nanoparticles can have similar functions to protein scaffolds in developing artificial enzymes. In addition, I will discuss multiple strategies to prepare precise macromolecules, including a high throughput method to develop libraries of discrete oligomers, and how these lead to novel and safer biomaterials. These results underscore the versatile impact that the polymer structure can have on the design and functions of materials, especially in biological applications.