Postgraduate Profiles

Adam Martin

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Thesis: Self Assembly of Anionic Calixarenes

Adam is currently working on the synthesis of a new generation of anionic calixarenes for binding studies and self assembly. Calixarenes are a class of macrocycles which can be easily chemically modified in a number of different ways, such as their cavity size and upper and lower rims. Introducing an anionic functionality to the upper rim allows calixarenes to bind guests such as metal ions and sugars. Self assembly of these calixarenes into films, fibres or vesicles can be achieved by attachment of alkyl chains to the lower rim of the calixarenes.

Why my research is important

Binding of specific guests such as metal ions and sugars allows for the calixarene to act as a molecular sensor with very low detection limits, which would be an invaluable resource in certain medical fields. Self assembly into different nanoscale structures can be used in medical fields also as scaffolds for cell regeneration and growth.