BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 1 - Bioderived Materials
What is your research focus?
My research interests involve utilizing the readily accessible and highly efficient Diels-Alder click platform to construct advanced functional biomaterials. Click reactions have been widely used in construction of biomaterials and bioconjugation due to its high yields, versatility, easy purification, and stereospecificity. Of the known click reactions, classic Diels–Alder has remained advantageous given its favorable properties – metal-free, thermal control, and synthetic accessibility. My current projects focus on controlling a highly self-reactive Diels-Alder dienes, cyclopentadiene (Cp), to construct a variety of single-component advanced homopolymers. In the near future, I would like to investigate the effects of different chiral building blocks (e.g. stereo- and regioisomeric monomers) on the mechanical properties of the resulting polymers (e.g. mechanical and self-healing property), utilizing the advantageous single-component Cp strategy.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
The high-throughput synthesis from the BioPACIFIC MIP facilities as well as synergistic collaborations would enable the quick access to the library of novel materials and investigations of structure-property relationship. In the far future, I would like to expand the utility of quantitative, and synthetically accessible Diels-Alder click platform to the synthesis of sequence-defined biomaterials with potential applications in self-assembly, and structure-property relationship studies. The advantageous retro Diels-Alder reaction can also be applied in thermal-degradable or self-healing biomaterials, and tunable stress-relaxation hydrogels for enhanced cell-regulation. The facilities and collaborations at BioPACIFIC MIP would become beneficial to those potential investigations.
I am interested in becoming a BioPACIFIC MIP Affiliate because I would like to be involved in a large and professional collaboration setting. Here, I can experience different working styles and be exposed to interdisciplinary sciences as well as participate in out-reach programs, career, and self-development opportunities. Furthermore, high-performance and bio-derived materials are now at the forefront of research areas and being involved in such a fast-growing environment will help me adapt and further improve my related research expertise, as well as soft skills for my future career development.