The research activities in Laboratory of Functional and Nanostructured Polymers has been directed towards developing novel polymers and (nano)materials with designed functions and properties. The core competence of our team in advanced synthetic techniques (ring-opening polymerization, ATRP, Click chemistry, photochemical reactions, etc.) and the modern facilities at IP-BAS are being employed for conducting innovative research on the synthesis and characterization of (co)polymers with defined composition, architecture and functionality, and fabrication of original high-performance materials, biomaterials and nanocomposites on their basis.
In particular we investigate the self-assembly and co-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers as a tool for preparation of nano-sized and nanostructured materials for variety of applications ranging from targeting drug and gene delivery systems (carriers of bioactive hydrophobic substances with antitumor and antioxidant activity like propolis, curcumin, paclitaxel, CAPE, etc., proteins and DNA), to active thin films for organic solar cells and nanocomposite layers with anticorrosion properties. We also carry out research on photochemical crosslinking of natural polymers (cellulose derivatives, dextran, chitosan, etc.) in frozen aqueous systems and preparation of biodegradable macroporous hydrogels (cryogels) applicable as macroscopic carriers of drugs, enzymes and cells, and scaffolds in the regenerative medicine. Efforts are focused on widening functional properties of cryogel materials by formation of co-networks or by embedding conductive polymers, graphene, carbon nanotubes, and metal nanoparticles.
Our ultimate goal is to disseminate the acquired knowledge among academia and society and to promote technology transfer to industrial partners.