Functional materials with biomimetic properties, e.g. selective molecular binding, response to stimuli and capability of specific signal transduction, are appealing for a large number of applications. Biomimetic polymers can be prepared through different approaches: those based on conjugation of well-defined molecular building blocks with synthetic polymers, and the use of template-guided synthesis to prepare molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). In the first approach, the molecular building blocks can be selected from nucleic acids, proteins or small organic molecules (synthetic receptors), which are linked to novel synthetic polymers via high efficiency conjugation chemistry. In the second approach, the active sites in MIPs are created by molecular templates (including metal-ligand complexes) during a crosslinking polymerization.
The functional performance of biomimetic polymers can be enhanced through nanofabrication and combination with many types of nanomaterials, e.g. quantum dots, upconvertion nanoparticles and photocatalysts. Biomimetic materials with multiple functions are also gaining importance in bioseparation, drug delivery, theranostics, forensic science, food analysis/traceability and environmental applications. Last but not the least, computational design using molecular dynamics, semi-empirical quantum mechanics and DFT methods are receiving much attention in developing high performance materials.
EUPOC 2018 will cover the following topics:
Molecular recognition polymers by rational/computational design
Biomimetic polymers through (bio)chemical conjugation
Traditional and modern methods of molecular imprinting
Biomimetic polymers for sensing, affinity separation and catalysis
Biomimetic polymers for drug delivery, imaging, detection of biomacromolecules and cells
Imprinted polyelectrolyte films, nanostructures and nanomaterials
Switchable and multifunctional biomimetic polymers