Protein-Mimetic Peptoid Polymers for Controlling Stem Cell Interactions

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Pure and Applied Chemistry


The project aims to expand on the previous research conducted within the group focused on the development of poly(N-substituted glycine) "peptoid" materials. The proposed peptoid structures will be unprecedented protein mimics that tackle a grand challenge in polymer science with respect to achieving sequence-specific high molecular weight protein mimics. Incorporating multiple functionalities on the peptoids will enable biofunctionality and stimuli-responsiveness, which are two primary goals in current biomaterials research, including for culturing stem cells and control of their differentiation.
This will be targeted in three way focusing on size, shape and functionality via the following:
1. Size: To expand the attainable molecular weight of sequence specific peptoid materials to more accurately mimic natural biological systems, using a combination of solid phase peptoid synthesis (SPPS) and ring opening polymerization.
2. Shape: To utilize sequence specific design and functionality of peptoids created via SPPS to attain peptomimetric scaffolds and structures suited for protein attachment and stem cell differentiation. Mimicking the natural biological extra-cellular matrix.
3. Function: To evaluate and demonstrate the effects specific side-chain functionality on the self-assembly and chain folding properties on the formation of higher order structures and how these may be used to mimic natural biological systems.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513349/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2120252 Studentship EP/R513349/1 30/09/2018 30/03/2022 Martyn Merrilees