ACS Fall 2011

23 Nov 2011

Bursar Nikos Petzetakis sends his report from ACS, Fall 2011:I was awarded a Messel Travel bursary by SCI to attend the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver, Colorado (Fall 2011) which was held from the 26 August-1 September 2011.

I gave an oral presentation entitled ‘Cylindrical micelles from the crystallization driven self-assembly of polylactide containing polymers’. My work focuses in controlling the nanostructure formed through a self-assembly process, where pre-designed components assemble in a determined structure without the intervention of human operators. The polymers we use have biocompatible and biodegradable components that make them suitable for a broad range of bio-applications. Furthermore, we use the crystallinity of Polylactides to form cylindrical particles with precisely controlled size. My talk triggered some interesting comments regarding the synthetic steps I use and also the scope of the project. One of the attendants proposed some new experiments that could possibly increase the degree of control we have over the length of the cylindrical particles by controlling the crystallization step.  

The ACS conference gave me the opportunity to attend top class scientist presenting their work, to mention a few, Professor Craig Hawker from the University of Santa Barbara talked about the use of brush polymers as drug delivery vehicles, Professor Jimmy Mays from the University of Tennessee talked about Temperature gradient interaction chromatography (TGIC) which is a new method to characterize polymeric materials. Professor Karen Wooley from Texas University presented new strategies to prepare highly functionalized polymers for various state of the art applications.

The ACS conference allowed me the chance to attend talks of very high standards. In just a few days I learnt about dozens of different projects taking place all around the world. This conference gave me the chance to meet top quality researchers and academics from all over the globe while I interacted with young researchers and PhD students.

Our entire research group benefitted from me attending this conference as I was able to give a detailed presentation in one of our group meetings about some of the presented work in the ACS. This gave us a chance to discuss about other people’s science and how we can possibly incorporate it in our group’s projects. For example, some interesting synthetic methodologies by Reversible Addition Fragmentation Transfer polymerization (RAFT) and post polymerization modification strategies presented in a poster were very useful routes to precisely control the polymeric materials that we synthesize and could be very useful for some of our group’s projects. This will increase the productivity and enhance the quality of the research of the whole group. The network that I created in the ACS meeting and the people I met will be key when I finish my PhD for two reasons, the first is that I met scientist that works in the field I’m interested in and had a chance to see close-up their research and secondly because I got precious advice from people already in jobs of this field.  

Nikos Petzetakis
University of Warwick

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