We combine polymer synthesis with self-assembly to create porous cross-linked materials with porosity, surface chemistry, surface topology, topography, mechanical properties are tuned by supra-molecular interactions. The same block copolymers used for polymersomes can form complex structures, called lyotropic gels with long-ranged orders and architecture controlled by the ratio water/copolymer (Battaglia et al Nature Mater 2005, and Macromolecules 2006, Smart et al Soft Matter 2009)

We also synthesised hydrogels with heterogeneous internal structure, that can be used as a template to either house a second polymer cross-linking creating patterned hydrogels, or to house micelles and vesicle to form soft nanocomposites (Merino et al Soft Matter 2010). We have adapted the synthesis of porous foams prepared by high internal phase emulsion (HIPE)  using amphiphilic copolymers that act as surfactants during the HIPE process (Viswanathan et al JACS. 2012, Macromolecules 2014, Biomaterials 2015 ). Finally, the same principles were applied to electrospun fibres where we demonstrated the effective control of the fibre surface topology (Viswanathan et al Biomacromolecules 2015,. 

Priya Viswanathan PHYPE01.jpg

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