Sankaran "Thai" Thayumanavan

Professor of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts

Thai's Chemistry Dept Website

Ph.D.: University of Illinois
Postdoctoral Training: California Institute of Technology

Biomimetic Organic Molecules and Polymers

We are interested in the design and syntheses of mainly two classes of macromolecules, viz., dendrimers and polymers. The design of these macromolecules is inspired by specific applications that our group is interested in and sometimes by the sheer beauty of the structures that one can generate using organic syntheses as a tool box. The structures that we imagine are often inspired by the intricacies of the nature's nature macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids.

Dendrimers, derived from the Greek word dendron (tree), are highly branched molecules that are built using iterative synthetic strategies. One of the most attractive aspects of dendrimers is that these molecules can be built as a pure single molecule even at very high molecular weights. Another interesting aspect of dendrimer is that they become globular at high molecular weights and therefore are useful as supramolecular hosts. We have developed a new design strategy to functionalize the interiors of these globular dendrimers to enhance the versatility of these molecules as hosts. In addition, we have also reported three different synthetic strategies to introduce sequences in dendrimers, i.e. these methodologies afford the capability to vary each monomer unit within a dendron or dendrimer. We are now working on several projects that demonstrate the capabilities of dendrimers in host-guest binding, catalysis, drug delivery, and other biological applications.

Representative publications:

Kim, Y. J; Shin, D.; Vutukuri, D. R.; Savariar, E. N.; Kim, S. Y.; Thayumanavan, S.; Russell, T. P "Globular Organization of Multifunctional Linear Homopolymer Using Trifunctional Molecules" Macromolecules 2007, 40, 4267-4275.

Ghosh, S.; Irvin, K.; Thayumanavan, S. "Tunable Disassembly of Micelles Using a Redox Trigger" Langmuir 2007, 23, 7916-7919. Langmuir 2007, 23, 7916-7919.

Combariza, Y.; Savariar, E. N.; Vutukuri, D. R; Thayumanavan, S.; Vachet, R. W. "Polymeric Inverse Micelles as Selective Peptide Extracting Agents for MALDI-MS Analysis" Anal. Chem. 2007, 79, ASAP.

Ambade, A.; Aathimanikandan, S. V.; van der Poll, D.; Thayumanavan, S. "Smaller Building Blocks Form Larger Assemblies: Aggregation Behavior of Biaryl-based Facially Amphiphilic Dendrimers" J. Org. Chem. 2007, 72, 8167-8174.

Klaikherd, A.; Ghosh, S.; Thayumanavan, S. " Facile Method for the Synthesis of Cleavable Block Copolymers from ATRP-Based Homopolymers" Macromolecules 2007, ASAP.