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Polypeptide hybrid

Over the years the Heise group has explored a number of hybrid materials mainly focused around surface grafting of functional polymers, for example from porous polymers, polymer films or nanoparticles with the rational to render the material surface bioactive or biocompatible. Examples include biofunctional polyHIPEs, glycopeptide functional silica and magnetic nanoparticles for elective binding as well as polypeptide grafted polyester films. Recenly, the group started to explore interpenetrating and double polypeptide networks to enhance mechanical properties and broaden opportunities for the polypeptide materials in tissue engineering. This activity is expected  to further grow in the future.

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glycopeptide grafted magnetic nanoparticle


protein immobilisation of polyHIPE through polymer surface grafting

polypeptide interpenetrating network

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protein immobilisation on polyester film through polymer grafting

Selected publications:

  • O’Brien, S., Brannigan, R.P., Ibanez, R., Bing Wu, O’Dwyer, J., O’Brien, F. J., Cryan, S.-A. Heise, A. Biocompatible polypeptide-based interpenetrating network (IPN) hydrogels with enhanced mechanical propertiesJ. Mater. Chem. B 2020, 8, 7785.

  • Brannigan, R. P., Heise, A. Synthesis of mechanically robust renewable poly(ester-amide)s through co-polymerisation of unsaturated polyesters and synthetic polypeptides, Eur. Polym. J. 2020, 123, 109417.

  • Borase, T., Heise, A. Hybrid Nanomaterials by Surface Grafting of Synthetic Polypeptides Using N-Carboxyanhydride (NCA) Polymerization. Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 5725.

  • Audouin, F., Larragy, R., Fox, M., O'Connor, B., Heise, A. Protein immobilization onto poly(acrylic acid) functional macroporous polyHIPE obtained by surface-initiated ARGET ATRP. Biomacromolecules 2012, 13, 3787. 

  • Audouin, F., Fox, M., Larragy, R., Clarke, P., Huang, J., O'Connor, B., Heise, A. Polypeptide-grafted macroporous PolyHIPE by surface-initiated N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) polymerization as a platform for bioconjugation. Macromolecules 2012, 45, 6127. 

  • Borase, T., Ninjbadgar, T., Kapetanakis, A., Roche, S., O'Connor, R., Kerskens, C., Heise, A., Brougham, D.F. Stable aqueous dispersions of glycopeptide-grafted selectably functionalized magnetic nanoparticles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 3164.

  • Iacono, M., Connolly, D., Heise, A. Polymer brush decorated nanoparticles immobilised on polymer monoliths for enhanced biopolymer elution. RSC Advances 2017, 7, 19976. 

  • Ates, Z., Audouin, F., Harrington, A., O'Connor, B., Heise, A. Functional brush-decorated poly(globalide) films by ARGET-ATRP for bioconjugation. Macromol. Biosc. 2014, 14, 1600.

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