SEPTEMBER 26-27, 2023
North Carolina State University | Raleigh, NC
SEPTEMBER 26-27, 2023
North Carolina State University | Raleigh, NC

Conference Speakers


Matthew Becker, Ph.D.

Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor, Duke University


Matthew Becker is the Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, MEMS, BME and Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University. Dr. Becker’s multidisciplinary research team is focused on developing bioactive polymers that address unmet medical needs at the interface of chemistry, materials and medicine. He is an Associate Editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules. He is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering and the American Chemical Society. He is also the founder of Viamer Biosciences.
Wednesday, September 28
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Sustainable Inputs: Fibers & Biofibers

Stereochemistry Strategies to Toughen Sugar Based Polymers and Degradable Elastomers

Stereochemistry in polymers can be used as an effective tool to control the mechanical and physical properties of the resulting materials. Typically, though, in synthetic polymers, differences among polymer stereoisomers leads to incremental property variation, i.e., no changes to the baseline plastic or elastic behavior. Here we show that stereochemical differences in sugar-based monomers yield a family of non-segmented, alternating polyurethanes that can be either strong amorphous thermoplastic elastomers with properties that exceed most cross-linked rubbers or robust, semicrystalline thermoplastics with properties comparable to commercial plastics. 

The stereochemical differences in the monomers direct distinct intra- and interchain supramolecular hydrogen-bonding interactions in the bulk materials to define their behavior. The chemical similarity among these isohexide-based polymers enables both statistical copolymerization and blending, which each afford independent control over degradability and mechanical properties. The modular molecular design of the polymers provides an opportunity to create a family of materials with divergent properties that possess inherently built degradability and outstanding mechanical performance.

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