We are pleased to present Hendrik Frisch to speak on Complex Macromolecular Architectures and their Interplay with Light

Date: Thursday 18th August 2022

Time: 12:30pm

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The interplay of light and complex macromolecular architectures enables life on earth, as exemplified by photosynthesis emerging from the precise macromolecular architectures of proteins. Synthetic photochemistry has found a plethora of applications including dental materials or 3D printing. These applications utilize the spatiotemporal control of light gated reactions to manipulate macromolecules. However, we have recently observed that the reaction kinetics of reversible photocycloadditions are drastically altered within the confined environment of single polymer chains. As a result, wavelength selective addressability of photocycloaddition and reversion is supressed within polymer coils. This lecture explores synergy between photochemistry and complex macromolecular systems: Using photochemistry to control formation and fission of complex molecular architectures and conversely, using macromolecular architectures to control photochemical reactivity.

To generate functional architectures that harvest light, nature relies on the translation of the monomer sequence (primary structure) into a perfectly controlled 3D architecture (secondary to quaternary structures). To access the potential of naturally occurring biopolymers with synthetic polymers – while circumventing the need for perfectly sequence defined polymers – we aim to reach an orthogonal level of sequence control by embedding short natural building blocks, i.e. peptides, into the backbone of synthetic polymers. From defined sequences of amino acids within the peptide segments, a class of synthetic polymers arises, whose function is programmed into its main chain. The synthetically adjustable amino acid sequence of the main chain embedded peptides will translate into structure and function of the polymer.



Hendrik Frisch received his Ph.D. in from the Institute of Organic Chemistry in 2016 at the University of Muenster under supervision of Prof. Besenius. In 2017, he joined QUT as a postdoctoral fellow of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina to work with Prof. Barner-Kowollik. In 2020, he became senior lecturer and ARC DECRA Fellow, working on the development of peptide-polymer hybrid materials.

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