This research proposal brings together the skills of Dr Chris Duxbury, a young, talented polymer chemist, with the industrial resources, experience and knowledge of DSM. The goal of this research is the development of new enzyme based techniques for the preparation of novel functional branched materials consisting of chiral polymers enzymatically grafted from multifunctional (dendritic) initiators. Chiral polymers are extremely difficult to make by conventional chemistry but can exhibit interesting properties such as customisable degradation profiles. These materials will not only be of enormous interest from a scientific point of view, but will also open new avenues in high added value applications such as biomedical devices due to their unique properties.
The synthetic route utilises a novel biotechnological chemoenzymatic process recently developed at DSM, Dynamic Kinetic Resolution Polymerisation (DKRP), in conjunction with enzymatic grafting, another new research field. DSM is unique in the world in having the combination of expertise required to carry out this groundbreaking research. The research detailed here is highly multidisciplinary and as such will provide Dr Chris Duxbury with new skills in a variety of fields. In addition, he will also benefit from the experience of working within state of the art laboratories within an industrial environment. DSM will also be able to provide additional training at the highest levels in related, non-scientific areas such as intellectual property and patents. All of this training will be invaluable for his future career.
The combination of this state of the art technology in an outstanding industrial research environment at DSM with the strong portfolio of skills from Dr. Chris Duxbury will deliver significant breakthroughs in the development of enzyme technology for advanced materials. The results of this research will be extremely beneficial for both parties, as well as Europe as a whole.
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