Zimmerman Group in Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
题目：DEVELOPMENT OF POLYNORBORNENES AND POLYPEPTIDES
AS VERSATILE FUNCTIONAL BIOMATERIALS
Two example syntheses of useful polymeric materials will be described. The first part involves a new approach to prepare functional organic nanoparticles (ONPs) by consecutive ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) and intramolecular ring-closing metathesis (RCM). This flexible and mild synthesis allows preparation of organic- and aqueous-soluble particles with controllable size and narrow molecular weight distributions. Such non-toxic ONPs can be used to study the effect of surface functional groups on the cellular uptake of corresponding nanoparticles. In addition, dye functionalized ONPs can serve as water-soluble fluorophores with highly enhanced photostability. Moreover, other functional materials such DNAs can be conjugated to the ONPs, bringing in new hybrid materials. The ONPs and ONP-DNA conjugates can also serve as templates for the synthesis of metal nanoparticles, providing a direct and facile synthetic route for functional metal nanoparticles. The second part majorly focuses on a polymeric approach to enhance the efficacy of toxic (CUG)n-binding compounds for potential Myotonic Dystrophy Type I treatment. Also using a bottom-up synthetic strategy, cell-penetrating polymers bearing active binding ligands are prepared. The synthetic polypeptide binder is shown to have excellent performance in both molecular and cell studies, giving much enhanced binding to the toxic RNA, successful nuclear foci dispersion, and full reversal on IR-mRNA splicing in the model cells.
Dr. Yugang Bai was born in Zhengzhou, China. He obtained a B. S. degree of chemistry at Nanjing University in 2009, and moved to the United States for Ph. D. study. He spent one and a half year in the Cheng Group, Department of Materials Science and Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, doing research related to hybrid polymeric materials based on synthetic functional polypeptides. He then moved to the Zimmerman Group in Department of Chemistry on the same campus in 2011, and worked on the synthesis and application of polynorbornene and polypeptide biomaterials. He obtained his Ph. D. degree of chemistry in 2015, and continued as a postdoc researcher in the Zimmerman Lab.