MSE Seminar Series: Frontiers in Polymer Science and Functional Materials - Fri., Feb. 7

Event Date: February 7, 2014
Hosted By: Materials Engineering
Time: 3:30 p.m. coffee; 3:45 p.m. seminar
Location: ARMS 1010, WL campus
Contact Name: Prof. Kendra Erk
Contact Email:
Dr. Daniel A. Savin, of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, University of Southern Mississippi, will present a seminar on Friday, Feb. 7, entitled "Self-­assembly and responsiveness in polypeptide-­based star and triblock copolymers: From design to function. The seminar will begin at 3:30 p.m. in ARMS 1010.

This study involves the bottom-‐up design and tunability of responsive, peptide-­based block copolymers. The self-­assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers is dictated primarily by the balance between the hydrophobic core volume and the hydrophilic corona. In these studies, amphiphilic diblock, triblock and star copolymers containing poly(lysine) (PK) and poly(glutamic acid) (PE) were synthesized and their solution properties studied using dynamic light scattering, circular dichroism spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. These materials exhibit hydrodynamic size that is responsive to pH, due in part to the helix-­coil transition in the peptide chain, but also due to changes in curvature of the assembly at the interface. This talk will present some recent studies in solution morphology transitions that occur in these materials as a result of the helix-­coil transition and associated charge­‐charge interactions. We exploit the responsiveness of these materials to encapsulate and release therapeutics such as doxorubicin and demonstrate the potential to achieve triggered release as a function of pH due to morphology transitions.

Daniel A. Savin received a BS in chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in 1995 and a PhD in chemistry with Prof. Gary Patterson at Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. After a postdoctoral position with Prof. Timothy Lodge at the University of Minnesota, he began his independent career at the University of Vermont. He joined the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in 2008. Research in the Savin group is focused in three primary areas: self-­assembly and responsiveness of topologically complex peptide-­based block copolymers, energy damping nanocomposites, and polymers for environmental applications.

Contact Prof. Kendra Erk ( if you could like to meet with Prof. Savin during his visit or if you have any questions.