The Chemistry Department Presents: Using Polymers to Modify and Control the Properties of Surfaces: From Hybrid Nnostructures to Novel Nanomedicines

Dr. Stephen Boyes, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephen Boyes

The establishment of future technologies focused on nanometer scale inorganic particles relies on not only the synthesis of nanoparticles of controlled size, shape, and crystal structure but ultimately on the development of techniques to allow these nanoparticles to be integrated into advanced functional devices containing superior function and properties. Achieving this goal will enable the application of nanoparticles in the next generation of electronic, photonic, and sensing devices, biological imaging and delivery systems, and functional nanocomposites. One of the most promising approaches for the rational assembly and application of nanoparticles is modification of the surface of the particles by covalent attachment of polymer chains.

Our group has developed new techniques for the modification of a variety of nanoparticles with well-defined polymers via the “grafting to” and “grafting from” techniques. This presentation will demonstrate how the use of these new techniques allows for precise control over the interfacial properties of a variety of different nanoparticles, including unique structures prepared in our lab. In particular, the application of these systems for the development of novel nanomedicines for the targeted imaging and treatment of cancer and hybrid nanoparticles for multimodal imaging will be discussed.


BIO Dr. Stephen Boyes is an associate professor in chemistry and materials science in the Department of Chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Boyes joined the Colorado School of Mines as an assistant professor in August 2005. Prior to this, Dr. Boyes was assistant professor in polymer science and engineering in the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi between July 2003 and July 2005. Dr. Boyes received his B.Sc. in Industrial Chemistry with first class honors (1993) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia before accepting a position in research and development with Comalco Research and Technology. In 1997, Dr. Boyes returned to the University of New South Wales to start his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (Polymer Science), which he completed in 2000. After this, Dr. Boyes accepted a postdoctoral research associate position in the Department of Polymer Science at the University of Akron with Professor William Brittain, a position he held until July 2003. Dr. Boyes’ research focuses on the design and engineering of multifunctional polymer modified systems for use in the areas of biotechnology and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on the modification of a wide variety of surfaces, both on the nano and macro scales, with the specific goal of engineering and controlling the interfacial chemistry and functionality for applications including multifunctional nanomedicines, multimodal nanoparticle imaging probes, stimuli-responsive polymer brushes, and membranes.


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