Grant Details


The research group of Dr. Wenjun Du at the Central Michigan University develops new methodologies for preparing a new class of polymers by linking sugar units together and investigates the conditions for controlling the degradation of these polymers. Sugar-based polymers are potentially compatible with biological systems and useful in biomedical applications. The degradation of these polymers under controlled conditions to regenerate the monomers allows recycling of the polymer products and, therefore, is environmentally beneficial. Outreach and educational activities of this project include developing an online course on sustainable polymer for high school teachers, partnering with the Central Michigan Science/Mathematics/Technology Center in organizing outreach activities for K-12 students and teachers, and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in research.

Under the support of Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program of NSF, Dr. Wenjun Du aims to develop synthetic methodogies for preparing degradable polymers by connecting sugar units together via orthoester linkages, thereby circumventing the notoriously challenging syntheses of O-glycosyl linkages. His research group studies the mechanism, scope and limitation of the polymerization process, explores the synthesis of high molecular weight sugar-based polymers by exploiting the reverse anomeric effect, and investigates the degradation of the sugar poly(orthoesters).

Effective start/end date07/15/1406/30/18


  • National Science Foundation: $322,895.00


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