Polymers are complex
molecules that nature uses to build things. DNA itself is a polymer
and, in everyday life, we use chemically created polymers for a
series of diverse applications.
At the University of Warwick, in the West Midlands of England,
researchers are driving new technology for building designer
polymers. By using an approach called living polymerisation,
Professor David Haddleton and his team are able to grow complex
polymer chains outside of the harsh laboratory conditions usually
associated with this work, which has previously limited the
commercial application of this chemistry.
With considerable potential in the pharmaceutical and healthcare
industries as well as long term benefits for the environment,
Warwick's new generation of designer polymers are an excellent
example of some of the valuable and practical solutions coming out
of current University research programmes.