Welcome

We are a macromolecular chemistry and polymer chemistry research group led by Prof. Nico Bruns. We are part of the Materials and Computational Section of the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK.

A branch of our research groups is hosted by the Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Our research wisely combines synthetic polymer chemistry with the engineering of proteins and enzymes. Via this approach, some of the best aspects of two different domains of macromolecular chemistry are combined in order to exploit the catalytic power of enzymes, to create novel nanosystems and to develop materials with unprecedented new functions. Four lines of research illustrate our strategy:

  • Biocatalytic Atom Transfer Radical Polymerizations (bioATRP)
  • Polymerization-amplified malaria diagnostics
  • Block copolymer vesicles (polymersomes) and protein cages as nanoreactors and nanocapsules
  • Bio-inspired materials

The Team

Our interdisciplany and multinational research team consists of PhD students, postdocs, and undergraduate students. Their background ranges from polymer chemistry, to organic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, protein engineering, and material sciences.

Group memebers come from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Ukraine USA, China, and Honduras.

Selected Publications

  • Rifaie-Graham, O.; Pollard, J.; Raccio, S.; Balog, S.; Rusch, S.; Hernández-Castañeda, M. A.; Mantel, P.-Y.; Beck, H.-P.; Bruns, N., Hemozoin-catalyzed precipitation polymerization as an assay for malaria diagnosis. Nature Commun. 2019, 10, 1369. Link
  • Rifaie-Graham, O.; Ulrich, S.; Galensowske, N. F. B.; Balog, S.; Chami, M.; Rentsch, D.; Hemmer, J. R.; Read de Alaniz, J.; Boesel, L. F.; Bruns, N., Wavelength-Selective Light-Responsive DASA-Functionalized Polymersome Nanoreactors. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 8027-8036. Link
  • Rother, M.; Barmettler, J.; Reichmuth, A.; Araujo, J. V.; Rytka, C.; Glaied, O.; Pieles, U.; Bruns, N., Self-Sealing and Puncture Resistant Breathable Membranes for Water-Evaporation Applications. Adv. Mater. 2015, 27, 6620-6624. Link
  • Renggli, K.; Nussbaumer, M. G.; Urbani, R.; Pfohl, T.; Bruns, N., A Chaperonin as Protein Nanoreactor for Atom-Transfer Radical Polymerization. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1443-1447. Link
  • Silva, T. B.; Spulber, M.; Kocik, M. K.; Seidi, F.; Charan, H.; Rother, M.; Sigg, S. J.; Renggli, K.; Kali, G.; Bruns, N., Hemoglobin and Red Blood Cells Catalyze Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization. Biomacromolecules 2013, 14, 2703-2712. Link
  • Sigg, S. J.; Seidi, F.; Renggli, K.; Silva, T. B.; Kali, G.; Bruns, N., Horseradish Peroxidase as a Catalyst for Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2011, 32, 1710-1715. Link

For a full list of publications, click here.

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is Scotland’s third largest University and a leading institution for innovation and technology. It is one of UK’s top 20 universities for research intensity. The Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry is one of the largest chemical research schools in the UK with >30 faculty research academics, >15 academic teaching staff, over 200 PhD students and postdocs creating a vibrant interdisciplinary research environment.

Adolphe Merkle Institute

The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) is Switzerland’s leading reserach center in the domain of soft nanomaterials. Fundamental and application-oriented research in a multidisciplinary setting are the focus of the AMI.