Scaling up of the Synthesis of new Polymers for Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Use

The use of natural compounds in the preparation of polymers may yield materials with the desired properties and better bioacceptance. Bile acids are natural amphiphilic compounds biosynthesized in the liver and have been used in the making of such polymers. In this project, the research team use cholic acid, a major bile acid, in the preparation of new star‐shaped polymers. Poly(ethylene glycol) chains and functional groups can be attached to the cholic acid core to obtain star‐shaped polymers. These polymers have been shown to form large stable micelles which may serve as a vehicle for the delivery of therapeutic and cosmetic agents. Star‐shaped polymers with varying chain lengths will be prepared and characterized. The intern will work on the scaling up of the synthesis of such polymers in an industrial environment. The products will be used for the testing of their biocompatibility and application as drug carriers.

Zhang Jie
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Julian Zhu