Among various light-emitting materials, organic/polymeric fluorescence materials have great potential for many applications such as fluorescence sensing, bioimaging, phototherapy, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), etc. This benefits from the flexibility and diversity on molecular design and materials processing of polymeric materials.
Recently, our group has developed a general strategy to tune and enhance material fluorescence in a through-space charge transfer (TSCT) polymer system. The polymers showing tunable fluorescence colors in aggregation/solid state (aggregation-induced emission, AIE effect) are ideal for practical use. The color tunability benefits from precise and facile control radical polymerization techniques (CRP, including ATRP, RAFT, etc.). Such discovery inspires new fluorescence sensing and imaging tools, which can produce ratiometric signal output.

Project description:
The goal is to prepare new TSCT polymers with deep red/near-infrared emission by macromolecular engineering, and to apply the materials as bioimaging agents and photosensitizers.
In this project, you will be involved in
– control radical polymerization, such as atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) or reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization (RAFT), for new synthesis of fluorescence polymers;
– Fabrication of bio-nanoprobes via nanoprecipitation technique;
– Characterization of the developed fluorescence materials (NMR, GPC, UV-Vis spectroscopy, Photoluminescence spectroscopy);
– In vitro cancer cell imaging;
– 3D printing (if time allowed);
– In vivo three-photon fluorescence imaging (if time allowed).
You will receive interdisciplinary training in the fields of polymer chemistry, luminescence materials, biomaterials, 3D printing and bioimaging.

Project type:
This project will be a semester project, research project or thesis. Students with background of chemistry, materials science, pharmaceutical science, biology are welcome to apply. The ideal starting time is from Sep/Oct 2020 onward. Please contact for more details and discussion.

About Leroux Group

Drug Formulation and Delivery
Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences