- B.S., Chemistry, University of Patras, 1979.
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, 1987.
Macromolecular Engineering is the main objective of the research efforts accomplished by the group of Polymer Laboratory.
Macromolecular Engineering is an integrated chemical process aiming to design polymeric materials for specific advanced applications. In order to achieve this goal, tailor-made block copolymers with specific macromolecular architecture, chemical composition/functionality and low molecular polydispersity and heterogeneity have to be synthesized and thoroughly characterized in a first step. The establishment of structure-property relationships of the spontaneously macromolecular self-assemblies in specific environments (e.g. solution, interfaces, bulk) is the following step that will allow a rational retro design of the macromolecular characteristics of copolymer as to finally obtain nanostructured polymeric materials with tailor-made macroscopic properties suitable for a specific function. For the successful outcome of the above procedure special synthetic techniques, the so-called controlled/living polymerization methods have been developed. The most important achievement of the living /controlled polymerization methods is the synthesis of block copolymers that in most of the cases leads to nanostructured polymeric materials with potential applications in nanotechnology and biomedicine.
In the context of Macromolecular Engineering our research activities can be classified as follows:
Design of model macromolecules: synthesis and characterization of polymers of tunable macromolecular characteristics and functionality via living polymerization methods.
Nano-structured polymeric materials in the solid state and polymer/carbon nanotubes or graphene nanohybrids.
Association phenomena and self-assembly of model amphiphilic block copolymers of various macromolecular architecture e.g. ABA ABC, CBABC, A(B-co-C), AnBn and An(B-C)n stars.
Stimuli responsive model block copolymers in aqueous media: multi-compartment micelles and injectable reversible hydrogels responsive to pH, ionic strength and temperature.
Perspectives towards biomedical applications:
Our experience in Macromolecular Engineering permitted us to design multifunctional nanostructured polymeric materials suitable for controlled drug delivery potential applications. Block copolymers of specific architecture (e.g. linear, star-shaped etc) bearing biocompatible (e.g. polypeptides) and/or biodegradable segments, capable to form self-assemblies (micelles or transient networks) in aqueous environments and response to various stimulus, have been explored as drug nanocarriers the recent years.
Reconformation and metallization of unimolecular micelles in controlled enviroment. G. Gorodyska, A. Kiriy, S. Minko, C. Tsitsilianis and M. Stamm Nano letters 3, 365-367 (2003).
Single Molecules and Associates of Heteroarm Star Copolymer Visualized by Atomic Force Microscopy. A. Kiriy, G. Gorodyska, S. Minko, M. Stamm and C. Tsitsilianis Macromolecules, 36, 8704-8711, (2003).
Hierarchical self organization of ABC terpolymer constituted of a long polyelectrolyte end-capped by hydrophobic blocks. I. Katsampas, and C. Tsitsilianis Macromolecules 38, 1307-1314, (2005).
Diversity of nanostructured self-assemblies from a pH-responsive ABC terpolymer in aqueous media. C. Tsitsilianis,Y. Roiter, I. Katsampas and S. Minko Macromolecules 41, 925-934, (2008).
Responsive reversible hydrogels from associative "smart" macromolecules C. Tsitsilianis, Soft Matter, 6, 2372-2388, (2010).
pH-Responsive Hydrogel/Liposome Soft Nanocomposites For Tuning Drug Release. M.-T. Popescu, S. Mourtas, G. Pampalakis, S. G. Antimisiaris, and C. Tsitsilianis Biomacromolecules 12, 3023-3030, (2011).
Controlled Delivery of Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles by pH-Sensitive Polymersomes. M.-T. Popescu and C. Tsitsilianis ACS Macro Letters 2, 222-225 (2013).