Making polymers with light

Polymers are being used for non-stick coatings, anti-fouling technology, precision drug delivery, medical diagnosis, imaging, and many other applications.

Cyrille Boyer (Photo credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)
Cyrille uses light to make new and complex polymers. Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear

Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer’s ideas are built on the revolutionary RAFT techniques (a technique to precisely control how small molecules are linked together to form large polymer chains) for which Professor David Solomon and Dr Ezio Rizzardo received the 2011 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. His latest technology uses light and chlorophyll to catalyse the production of polymers.

He’s using it to create polymeric nanoparticles that can encapsulate therapeutic agents into the human body. For instance, he developed polymeric nanoparticles to treat bacterial biofilms, which can cause chronic diseases.

Cyrille is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales.

Cyrille Boyer received the 2015 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for his contributions to polymer science, nanotechnology and nanomedicine, as well as the Le Fevre Memorial Prize.

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