Peptidomimetic Polymers: New Chemistry and Functional Materials

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dr. Donghui Zhang


Louisiana State University

Hand 1144, 3:30 PM

Donghui Zhang

Abstract: Peptidomimetic polymers refer to a broad class of polymers whose molecular structures are similar to those of polypeptides. They emulate polypeptides in their ability to fold into higher order structures. Previous studies have shown that these polymers are backbone degradable, often biocompatible and in some cases thermally processable. This presentation will be focused on our recent findings in the design, synthesis and characterization of polypeptoids, a class of emerging peptidomimetic polymers featuring N-substituted polyglycine backbones with either proteinogenic or synthetic sidechains. The physicochemical properties of the polypeptoids are strongly dependent on the N-substituents structures, enabling systematic tuning of the polymer solubility, crystallinity and backbone conformations. Examples will be given on our recent efforts in the development of controlled polymerization methods towards well-defined, thermo-reversible polypeptoid hydrogels as 3D cell culture scaffolds and the investigation of the effect of sequence-encoded electrostatic interactions on the solution micellation of sequence-defined ionic peptoid amphiphiles.


Bio:  Donghui Zhang is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Louisiana State University. She obtained B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 1998 and Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry from Dartmouth College in 2003 and did one and half year postdoctoral research at University of Minnesota on the synthesis and characterization of polymers from biorenewable source materials. She joined LSU in 2007 after a two-year stint as a research faculty in New Mexico State University. Her research interests include polymer catalysis, synthesis and investigation of the structure-property relationship of biomimetic, bioinspired and bio-relevant functional polymers and high precision macromolecules.


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