Polymer synthesis, characterization, and applications

Professor Michael J. Monteiro is a Senior Group Leader within the AIBN at The University of Queensland, Australia. He has established an international reputation in the field of 'living' radical polymerization to create complex polymer architectures, including dendrimers, cyclic polymers and polymer nanostructures in water. His work focuses on building designer polymers for various biomedical applications, including vaccines, drug delivery, and stem cells.

His work on nitroxide radical trapping resulted in a ‘click’ -type reaction and trapping of small radical intermediates in polymerization systems. Determining kinetic parameters, including rate constants for propagation (kp), transfer (ktr) and the complex termination (kti,j), have allowed modelling of conventional and ‘living’ radical polymerizations and determine important mechanistic steps. For example, we proposed the intermediate radical termination (IRT) step in RAFT polymerization. His group at Eindhoven University of Technology was the first to study and synthesize polymer nanoparticles in water with controlled composition and morphology using the RAFT technology. He worked with Professor Virgil Percec (University of Pennsylvania) in 2001 on SET-LRP.

In 2004, he was awarded an ARC QEII Fellowship at UQ; in 2009 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship; and in 2015 he was awarded a UQ Vice Chancellor Fellowship. Monteiro has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters (h-index >73), and is on the Advisory Boards of Biomacromolecules (2013-2018), Macromolecules (2009-2011), Journal of Polymer Science Part A Polymer Chemistry (2009-), European Polymer Journal (2005- ) and Heliyon (2007 -) - both journal published by Elsevier Ltd. He is now an Assistant Editor for Biomacromolecules (ACS, 2018- ).


For a full list of supervision availability, including current and completed projects, please click here and navigate to the 'supervision' tab, or visit the Monteiro Group page.


Professor Monteiro has built a strong collaboration with Professor Virgil Percec from the University of Pennsylvania to develop and understand the new SET-LRP. He has developed a strong collaboration with Professor István Tóth from the University of Queensland to develop self-adjuvanting vaccines. In collaboration with Professor Eugenia Kumacheva from the University of Toronto and Professor Peter Gray from the University of Queensland, they developed temperature responsive micron-sized particles from encapsulation of cells and 3D stem cell expansion, respectively.

Professor Monteiro has built a strong collaboration with Boeing Pty Ltd in developing novel water-based antivirial coatings. These coatings may have commercial applications in airplanes, airports, and other environmental settings. The collaboration has resulted in over 6 patents. The environmentally friendly antiviral polymer coating was tested in 2022 by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).


Professor Monteiro has attracted ARC and NHMRC grants; and Queensland State Government funding in excess of $15 million.

Recent Key Publications

For a full list of publications, click here.

Temperature‐Directed Formation of Anisotropic Kettlebell and Tadpole Nanostructures in the Absence of a Swelling‐Induced Solvent
SPR Chen, VA Bobrin, Z Jia, MJ Monteiro, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 61 (11), e20211397

RGD-Coated Polymer Nanoworms for Enriching Cancer Stem Cells
Y Gu, V Bobrin, D Zhang, B Sun, CK Ng, SPR Chen, W Gu, MJ Monteiro
Cancers 15 (1), 234

Polymeric Nanoparticles as a Self‐Adjuvanting Peptide Vaccine Delivery System: The Role of Shape
P Koirala, SPR Chen, JC Boer, ZG Khalil, C Deceneux, G Goodchild, L Lu, ...
Advanced Functional Materials, 2209304

Water-borne nanocoating for rapid inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses
VA Bobrin, SP Chen, CF Grandes Reyes, B Sun, CK Ng, Y Kim, D Purcell, ...
ACS nano 15 (9), 14915-14927

Monodisperse macromolecules by self-interrupted living polymerization
MN Holerca, M Peterca, BE Partridge, Q Xiao, G Lligadas, MJ Monteiro, ...
Journal of the American Chemical Society 142 (36), 15265-15270