Chemically Tunable Supramolecular Gels

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Chemistry


Gels are fascinating modern materials that arise from the trapping of liquids or even gases by a fibrous network. This network is usually made up of polymers but recent research has shown that much more versatile gels can arise from molecular systems that form extended strands vis interactions such as hydrogen bonding. We are proposing to make a system of gels that is more versatile still through the use of both hydrogen bonding interactions, interactions to metal ions and interactions to anions. Because our new gels are composite materials and the interactions between the components are relatively weak we can readily change the composition of the gel by changing metal or anion. The result should impact on the the gel's abilty to flow. We have a good understanding of the way our small gelling molecules interact with metals and anions and so are in a good position to understand the structure of the gel fibres and will apply a range of modern methods to the problem. This will allow designer gels with applications in gel-phase polymerisation or other catalytic processes and nanoparticle synthesis. It may also result in unfoseen technological applications of materials with chemically triggered flow characteristics.


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Description This project resulted in versatile, tuneable supramolecular gels that are being explored in the context of pharmaceutical crystallization.
Exploitation Route Pharmaceutical solid form studies
Sectors Chemicals,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description Development of a crystallization control technology.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Chemicals,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Description AstraZeneca CASE Studentship
Amount £34,000 (GBP)
Organisation AstraZeneca 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
Description Marie Curie IIF
Amount £220,882 (GBP)
Funding ID FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IIF 326487 
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2014
Description Responsive Mode
Amount £688,937 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J013021/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 01/2016